“Few vying for state’s top job,” reads this morning’s headline, and I’d wager many readers had the identical response. They thought to themselves: No surprise there. Who would want to be governor anyway?

By now, the futility of California government has become the story line of our time – an era marked by partisan paralysis, chronic budget deficits and a general ineptitude when it comes to responding to the state’s most critical needs.

Within the existing structure of government, no governor can succeed without some help from the state Legislature, and the Legislature is a walking, talking disaster. Its current approval rating is 13 percent, and the word most often used to describe it proceedings is “dysfunctional.”

Who would want to be governor? The leading Democratic candidate is Jerry Brown, who was first elected to statewide office in 1970.