Gov. Jerry Brown, on public radio this morning to promote his budget plan and ballot measure to raise taxes, was asked by the host of "Marketplace Morning Report" to reveal his "happy place."
"When you want to get away from all this stuff up there in Sacramento, where do you go?" host Jeremy Hobson asked. "What's your happy place in California?"
"Well," Brown said, "I live in Oakland. I find that extremely happy, if you want to call it that. It's a great place. We've got great parks and trails. I can see out into the Pacific 50 miles on a clear day.
"And I like to read about the decline of the Roman Empire, and then I like to read about all the successes that people were able, in the face of challenge, to overcome against terrific odds. And I think that through facing things with clarity and courage, we can get the job done, and maybe we can inspire some of the same spirit of resolve both for Washington, and maybe even in Europe."
The Democratic governor, a voracious reader, has been talking about the Roman Empire for months. He and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, own a house in the Oakland hills.