Does Jerry Brown ever haul his almost 74-year-old body out of bed in the morning, look in the mirror and ask himself why he ever had the notion of running for governor again, three decades after leaving the job?
If he did, he'd probably never admit it. But Brown 2.0 clearly has found that governing California in the 21st century is more difficult than the scenario he painted for voters in 2010 that his experience and professionalism would succeed where others had failed.
Last year, he excoriated Republicans for not allowing voters to decide whether taxes should be raised to balance the state budget.
This year, however, fellow Democrats inside and outside the Capitol have made his life difficult.
"I'm working in a tough neighborhood right now," Brown told a gathering of police chiefs the other day, describing the "deleveraging" he's trying to accomplish in state finances.
Democratic legislators are balking at the spending cuts and pension reforms Brown says are needed to balance the budget and persuade voters to hike taxes.
"I can't imagine myself voting for this," Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, said last week about Brown's social service reductions.
Democrats say they're hoping for a brighter revenue picture, but if anything the income side of the budget ledger is looking bleaker than Brown's numbers.
Revenues are running billions of dollars below what current budget said they would be, and the Legislature's budget analyst says future revenue assumptions in Brown's new budget are billions too high.
Therefore, if Brown's serious about being "committed to getting the budget balanced," it could mean much deeper cuts in Democrats' pet programs.
Meanwhile, liberal activists pushed two tax measures that conflicted with Brown's tax plan. He couldn't get them to back down and surrendered by merging his tax plan with the soak-the-rich approach that a rival had pushed.
Shifting away from the "balanced proposal" of modest sales and income tax increases he had touted earlier requires Brown to join the leftists' chant against "the 1 percent."
It's an odd posture for a man who ran for president as a flat tax advocate, and it enhances his reputation for finger-in-the-wind politics.
By paddling his political canoe to the left and embracing much higher income taxes on the rich, Brown also risks alienating the business leaders he'd cultivated on new taxes and sparking the well-financed opposition campaign that he wanted to avoid.
Finally, were Brown's revised tax plan to fail, he'd face multibillion-dollar budget deficits for years to come and the political "war of all against all" he once predicted.
Would he, at age 76, run for another term in 2014?
It's another question Brown might have to ask himself some morning.