The wisdom of Leon Panetta

Photo with Christina Valentino, Donna Blitzer, Leon Panetta, and Chancellor Blumenthal

Christina Valentino, left, and Donna Blitzer joined me at the party for Leon Panetta

It seemed like practically the entire Central Coast turned out for Leon Panetta's welcome home party the other night. I kidded Leon and his wife Sylvia about the opening in the UC President's office. After all, it could be another retirement failure for him. Why not? We could use his smarts, strategic sensibility, and savvy.

Leon gave a warm speech about the importance of serving your country and your community. Public service is an integral part of the American dream, he said, and we all deserve to have government representatives who are capable of working together and getting things done. I couldn't agree more.

I also saw my former colleague Tim White, who left the chancellorship of UC Riverside to take the helm of the Cal State University system. All I can say is CSU is in good hands. Eduardo Ochoa, acting president of CSUMB, hosted the event, which attracted more than 500 people. He's a talented and smart guy—and he hosts a great party, too.

I also had a chance to meet Walter Tribley, the new president of Monterey Peninsula College, and to reconnect with Patti Hiramoto. Patti left UCSC to lead human resources at CSUMB and is now their vice president for External Relations. Well done, Patti!

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