Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's public approval rating already was in the tank when he left office, and that was before it came out that he had kept secret for more than a decade the fact he fathered a child with a member of his household staff.
Easy as it might be to pile on, however, Schwarzenegger's successor, Jerry Brown, wasn't biting.
Asked on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley this morning if Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was a failed governor, Brown said, "No, that's not true."
"He had his failures, but that kind of blanket condemnation is not appropriate," the Democratic governor said. "He championed renewable energy, he had bold ideas. Stem cell research. When President Bush was killing stem cell research, California was leading the way. Schwarzenegger did that. Now, there's other things that I can point to. But I think we ought to let his reputation rest and age a bit before we get too critical."
As he has previously, the third-term governor said he does not know if he will run for re-election. Given California's problems, Brown said, "I may have to keep my shoulder to the plow here for a bit, but I haven't made up my mind."