A blossoming feud between California Gov. Jerry Brown and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could bring a little fun back into politics.
The spat began on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa during Christie's visit to the California delegation. Christie, who later in the week would underwhelm as the convention's keynote speaker, pointed out to the delegates he was a mere 14 years old when Brown won the Democratic primary in New Jersey way back in 1980. The trash-talking governor of the Garden State called Brown "an old retread" and implied Brown was chicken for sending his current tax hike proposal to the voters instead of pushing it through the legislature and taking the heat.
In Los Angeles last Thursday, Brown fired back at Christie during a speech at an organized labor gathering. The veteran Democrat said age may have left him with a lot less hair, but the years had provided plenty of experience and knowledge that Christie may lack.
"Because when you were 14," Brown said to his new rival, "I was passing the farm labor bill. I was passing worker protections in California."
Brown then challenged the famously rotund New Jersey chief executive to a three-mile run, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest. With the negative implication about Christie's excessive weight abundantly clear, Brown said he would take any bet on the challenge, adding, "I have no doubt of the outcome."
It would be great to see this cross-country smack down go on for a few more rounds. Christie should take Brown's fitness challenge on the condition that Brown agree to a rematch on more favorable turf – say a fritter eating contest at a Trenton donut shop. Brown would easily whip Christie in a foot race and managing even one pull-up seems an unlikely feat for the biggest Republican since William Howard Taft, but Christie clearly has the edge when it comes to consumption of sugar-basted, deep-fried dough.