Whether as policy adviser, interior decorator or barber, he was a Zen-like presence in that California politician’s orbit, and always dressed in black.
In a single year, the state’s financial outlook has gone from surplus to deficit to surplus as capital gains tax collections have risen amid a soaring stock market and I.P.O. boom.
The former California governor and Mr. Biden both inherited acute crises after taking over from celebrity politicians. One achieved a turnaround; the other is just getting started.
From his ranch, the former California governor is experiencing the same smoky air wafting through much of the state. “We are causing this,” he declared in an interview.
Early hopes for a quick rebound from the pandemic have yielded to worries about its long-term impact on state finances and the governor’s ambitious agenda.
California’s strengths — as a hub for commerce, tourism and education in the Pacific Rim — have become liabilities in the pandemic.