It's no secret that Jerry Brown is a bit of an intellectual.
Our Yale-bred governor stuffs his bookshelves with the works of academics like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. He spent years studying Buddhism in Japan. "Always look for opportunities to mentor and be mentored," he once told his campaign staff. (Full disclosure: The author of this post was once a member of said staff.)
But is he the "smartest guy in American politics?"
At least one person thinks so. And that person happens to be our vice president.
Joe Biden swung through Sacramento last week to attend a fundraiser for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. Brown spoke right before Biden, and when the vice president addressed the crowd, he only had kind words for his predecessor at the podium.
"Nothing has changed," Biden gushed, referencing Brown's previous stint as California governor from 1975 to 1983. "He was the smartest guy in American politics then. He's still the smartest guy in American politics."
The two veteran politicians first met in San Francisco in the 1970s.
"He speaks his mind," Biden added. "I like guys like that."
Indeed, both Democrats have a history of making colorful remarks.
Biden, meanwhile...well, perhaps it's just part of his charm.
At the very least, chalk the vice president's recent remarks up to a "heartwarming moment between two longtime Democratic pols," as Politico observed.
Do you think Brown is the smartest man in American politics? Let us know below, and feel free to explain your answer in the comments: