Governor as Victim

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The contest between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman often plays like a competition: who is the bigger victim?

In Brown's telling, he's the bigger victim -- the target of a record-breaking onslaught of political ads funded by his billionaire opponent, Whitman.

In Whitman's telling, Democratic unions are regularly victimizing her with their attacks. Whitman has a name for these tormentors -- Jerry Brown Inc. -- which I suppose would make the former corporate executive-turned-gubernatorial candidate a victim of... a big bad corporation! Oh, sweet irony.

Why do they do this? Sympathy is politically valuable, so each wants to make the case that he or she is being treated unfairly. And in anti-incumbent year, each candidate is trying to look like the outsider, the underdog.

But these constant claims of victimhood aren't attractive. A governor shouldn't sound like a victim. Life is tough and unfair. That goes double for politics. Memo to Meg and Jerry: stop the whining.

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