Governor Brown

Idealistic in his first gubernatorial tenure, California Governor Jerry Brown has just begun his fourth term at the age of 76, presiding over a rapidly recovering economy while planning for a greener future.

Time flies.

Rewind the calendar to 1992. My then-15-year-old daughter delivers a seconding speech to Brown’s nomination for president. But the Democrats at Madison Square Garden had in mind the coronation of Bill Clinton, though the crowd was abuzz in anticipation of Mario Cuomo’s address. Brown slipped out the backdoor, became mayor of Oakland for a couple of terms, before returning his sights to Sacramento.

Timothy Egan sings his praises, contrasting the “knuckle-dragging” Congress with the Golden State’s march toward a robust economy, high-speed rail, and a cleaner tomorrow. He writes:

Governor Brown, having balanced a runaway California budget and delivered near-record job growth in a state Republicans had written off as ungovernable, laid out an agenda to free the world’s eighth-largest economy — his state — from being tied to old energy, old transportation and old infrastructure. He doubled down on plans to build a bullet-train network and replumb the state’s water system, while setting new goals to reduce dependence on energy that raises the global temperature.

“The challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it,” said Governor Brown, who is the embodiment of the line about how living well is the best revenge — political division.

Way to go, Jerry. Truth to power.

Mrs. A, daughter, John Kelly, son, and writer—at Jerry Brown's NYC headquarters (1992)

Mrs. A, daughter, John Kelly, son, and writer—at Jerry Brown’s NYC headquarters (1992)