Parade magazine, a Sunday supplement that appears in many newspapers across America, offered a cover story on their Personalities of the Year (featuring kids from the documentary Waiting for Superman on the cover.) There was only one politician featured: California's once and future governor, Jerry Brown, "the returning warrior." Parade sought out Arianna Huffington to praise his endless curiosity and declare "California is a perfect fit for his restless spirit."'
But didn't Arianna and Jerry once have a romance? In a January 3, 1995 Los Angeles Times story, she was very angry at former Congressman Robert Lagomarsino (after her then-husband "retired" him in a 1992 GOP primary) for pulling old quotes from that liberal rag Vanity Fair about Arianna wanting to marry Jerry and save the world together:
"I'm going to marry Jerry Brown. He's a genius, a savior of the world. We'll do important things together," said another, quoting Arianna Huffington from an old Vanity Fair interview.
Lagomarsino said the newsletter has elicited a reaction from the Huffingtons, despite its limited circulation [about 300 friends and supporters]. "It apparently made them very mad, especially the thing about her interest in marrying Jerry Brown."
The quote came from an article in the mid-1980s when Arianna Huffington was briefly dating Jerry Brown and before she met her husband.
Answering an inquiry through spokesman John Nelson, Arianna Huffington called the remarks about Jerry Brown a "fictitious quote."
"She never said that," Nelson said. "If he is quoting Vanity Fair directly, then they got it wrong," he said. "If he's saying that upset her, that's also fictitious."
On June 7, 1988, the Times reported "For awhile it was reported in the New York gossip columns that she would marry her then-steady beau, former California Gov. Jerry Brown." Arianna's copy for Parade wasn't quite as syrupy as "genius and savior of the world." But the idea they had a romance colors the way it reads:
I first met Jerry Brown in 1980, when People magazine asked me to do a profile of him. He was nearing the end of his second term as governor of California, and I spent a week traveling with him around the state.
The first thing that struck me was his endless curiosity. The second and third things were…his endless curiosity. We stayed up most of the first night talking about the Greeks, the Jesuits, democracy, and philosophy. I finally had to go to bed—but I’m not sure Jerry has stopped talking since.
Based on that first meeting, I would have thought by now he would be in a monastery, teaching and reading. But there’s too much in the world to experience, too much that needs to be made better.
California is a perfect fit for his restless spirit. The Golden State used to be defined by its energy, optimism, and relentless forward movement. Those now seem like remnants of the past. But don’t tell Jerry. Whether you agree with his positions or not, he is a three-dimensional person in an increasingly two-dimensional profession. He’s one of a kind.