Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

Insight creates conversation to build community, exploring issues and events that connect people in our region. Insight covers breaking news and big ideas, music, arts & culture with responsible journalism, civil discussion and diverse voices.


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Former Gov. Gray Davis Looks Ahead At Newsom, Reflects On Brown Ahead Of Inauguration


Former Gov. Gray Davis has a close relationship with both California's outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown and incoming Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

He joined us on Insight to offer his thoughts on Brown's time as governor and what he thinks we can expect from Newsom.

Interview Highlights

On being Gov. Jerry Brown's executive secretary during his first stint as governor

I told people my primary qualification was that I was a bachelor... He worked, as I'm sure he does today, all the time. And so most of what I learned about politics I learned from him. I was just with him last week for a little bit as he swore in a new justice to the Supreme Court and everybody says the same thing that I learned. There's nobody like him. He is both brilliant. He understands politics but he's been shaped by his time in the seminary, by his time with Mother Teresa, by his time with Zen Buddhists traveling around the world and he has just all these experiences to draw upon.

On his relationship with Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom was a second person to endorse me in Northern California when I was in third or fourth place at the time and I've always had a very warm spot in my heart for him. Several times he was thinking about running against Jerry Brown and I was trying to tell him that I think the world to him, but my first allegiance is to Jerry Brown. Can't we find a way where you guys are running against each other? Happily, I'm sure many people advised him similarly, and so he spent eight years watching the Brown administration function. He should have all the skill sets and all the experience he needs to be a fantastic governor, not a good governor, a fantastic governor.

On the two Joshua Grobans

Just a couple days ago when I was up for Josh Groban's swearing in Governor Brown performed that ceremony. So I was tweeting about how great it was to be at Josh Groban's investiture, if you will, as a social justice to the Supreme Court, the whole court was there, and then what I call the real Josh Groban chimed in and he says, This is this is fate. Twenty years ago almost to the day I was at a gala for Gray Davis. It was my first big gig and now I have someone with my names sitting in the Supreme Court. You think this is happenstance? I don't think so.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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