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markell.jpgWASHINGTON - Gov. Jerry Brown skipped a meeting with President Barack Obama and boarded a train today for New York, where he will meet with several "thought leaders" before returning to California on Tuesday, his office said.

Brown, who left Washington on Amtrak, is scheduled to meet privately with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and economist William Baumol, spokesman Evan Westrup said.

"It's an opportunity to meet with thought leaders on the other side of the country and hear their perspective on the progress our country's made (and) the challenges we still face," he said.

Brown, in Washington for a meeting of the nation's governors, attended social and business functions with other governors throughout the weekend, including dinner with Obama and other governors at the White House on Sunday night.

Brown was likely not crestfallen to avoid the meeting between governors and Obama this morning - or the news conference that followed. He missed Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, among others, answering questions about sequestration.

Last year, Brown stood restlessly at the back of a group of governors as they addressed reporters outside the White House, then left quickly as the news conference disbanded.

Hanging back from the crowd this year was Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who appeared similarly detached.

He said, "There's enough people that want to speak."

PHOTO CREDIT: Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, flanked by other governors, addresses reporters outside the White House on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. David Siders / Sacramento Bee


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