Jerry Brown for president? Two interesting angles

In debate, Brown mocks Mississippi and Arkansas (i.e., the Clintons)Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters observed in a column last Friday that Gov. Jerry Brown might still have the White House itch:

Does the three-time White House hopeful read about Hillary Clinton’s slide and left-winger Bernie Sanders’ surge in their presidential duel and wonder whether party leaders might, in desperation, turn to a popular, seasoned big-state governor who’s just a few years older?

This prompted some reaction in political circles before it was drowned out Saturday by reports former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might make an independent bid for the presidency.

But there are two interesting angles here worth noting. One is that the presidential candidate that Sanders most sounds like is arguably … Jerry Brown, the 1992 version.

Sanders 2016 = Brown 1992

Veteran California political analyst William Bradley, writing in the Huffington Post in 2014, described Brown’s “Take Back America” campaign of 1992:

Running a not infrequently angry populist campaign, Brown vowed to “take back America from the confederacy of corruption, careerism, and campaign consulting in Washington.” He called for term limits on Congress and vowed to take contributions only from individuals and in amounts no greater than $100. In those pre-Internet days, Brown financed his campaign largely through an 800 number, which he flogged relentlessly. Just as some do with web sites URLs today. …


In addition to his now customary themes on renewable energy and climate change, Brown championed a progressive version of a flat tax (in which corporations and some wealthy individuals would pay more), living wage measures and a single-payer health care system, and questioned international trade deals.

In 2016, this sounds far more like Bernie Sanders than Jerry Brown’s current iteration as fiscal hawk who plays mostly small-ball politics, except on the environment.

Brown alleged Clintons were corrupt

The other interesting angle is that there may be no more prominent Democrat in America to publicly hold a low opinion of Bill and Hillary Clinton than Brown. In  the 1992 presidential race, as the Christian Science Monitor notes, the bad blood was plain to the world:

They slammed each other’s positions and records, sometimes falsely – Clinton suggesting that Brown had raised taxes during his first stint as governor, Brown alleging that Clinton (as governor of Arkansas) had directed state contracts to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s law firm in Little Rock. And of course it’s all on tape.

Since then, Brown has had little good to say about either Clinton. In a March 2015 Washington Post story about his decision not to run for president again, Brown was asked about his relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. His vague response: “It’s all been written about.”

And Brown wouldn’t give her a pass on a controversy that is still in the news.

When asked about the recent controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of state, Brown said he is not convinced the issue is a passing storm, as many other Democrats contend.


“I don’t know that,” Brown said. “With these things, what makes a difference, you often don’t know until it unfolds because nothing is just what it is. It’s always in part of a larger context. Things unfold and things happen.”

Brown singled out Arkansas to mock

More recently, during his only debate with Republican challenger Neel Kashkari in 2014, Brown held up the Clintons’ home state for ridicule when he was asked about California’s ability to deal in the long term with its large unfunded pension liabilities.

“Are we in Arkansas or Mississippi? This is the eighth-largest economy in the world,” he said, ridiculing the idea that the nation’s richest, most populous state would struggle with such a challenge.

When singling out states that are considered the most socially and economically backwards, comedians and social media yuksters usually cite Mississippi or West Virginia. But not Jerry Brown.


Write a comment
  1. Hank
    Hank 28 January, 2016, 08:31

    Jerry would never demean himself by running for President, being President yes, running no. There is nothing in his personality that would permit him to mingle with the common folk.
    Once outside of the California cocoon he may be subjected to real questions and the viisuals of him struggling for a response would reveal him.
    Only the fawning press finds him relevant and cogent.

    Reply this comment
  2. Dude
    Dude 28 January, 2016, 08:58

    How about “Moonbeam for dogcatcher”. He’s used to slinging kuhrap.

    Reply this comment
  3. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 28 January, 2016, 14:43

    “former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might make an independent bid for the presidency.”

    Run Bloomturd, run. He would poach millions of votes from the wicked witch of Chappaqua in the general election. He has no chance of becoming president but he could play the spoiler like a left wing Ross Perot, thereby keeping the old hag out of the White House. That would be a beautiful thing.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted
    Ted 28 January, 2016, 14:59

    Brown would just be a GREAT President—-

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 January, 2016, 23:43

      Teddy Steals would be a GREAT Stooge!

      Reply this comment
      • Ted, Mentor to the Doomera
        Ted, Mentor to the Doomera 29 January, 2016, 08:59

        Slamma Jamma Ding Dong it’s the goofy Rexie the Cuddle Poodle!!!

        I live in her head!

        Reply this comment
      • Ulysses Uhaul
        Ulysses Uhaul 29 January, 2016, 09:00

        Pooo Pooo

        Your cheap shots are laughable to trolls and Graboids…..but to the fair and balanced like Saw and the CWD Sage Teddy they look infantile…..

        Fire up your cotton candy drum at your career truck stop job and provide some positives for the 97 percenters!

        Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 28 January, 2016, 17:41

    No way no how do we need President moonbeam

    Reply this comment
  6. Truthafuss
    Truthafuss 29 January, 2016, 08:32

    Please don’t even toy with such an absurd possibility. We have real problems and DO NOT want to exacerbate them more. Brown is like Obama sewage diluted down to mere pollution, real close to toxic, but not quite. Hillary rates high on the toxic factor too. Toxic to what? To the USA. If these three would just go away, and maybe take Bernie along too, Mr. Lenin himself, then we all could get serious about getting someone in power who thinks for Americans and not every wing ding special interest created by the left wing scourge of the past 50 years.

    Reply this comment
    • Dude
      Dude 29 January, 2016, 08:37


      Reply this comment
      • Ted--Pol. Director
        Ted--Pol. Director 29 January, 2016, 09:09

        Honestly Brown would be good–

        Rubio– looks and sounds like your high school ASB president
        Cruz– hard right loon, could never win, would govern like McCarthy
        Trump— hahahahaha lmao
        Carson– Whoa— may have been a good doctor but also a religious loon
        Fiorina– OMG where’s the broom?
        Kasich- OK, Best Repub up there, would be a great president, but R’s are too stupid and held hostage to elect

        Dem Side–

        Bernie–too left, death of capitalism etc…
        Hillary– Maybe good but the gridlock would continue because the loon right hates women…
        O’Malley– pretty boy does not seem real, would take off his coat a lot and roll up his sleeves for show…zzzz

        So, as you can see, we still do not have a very good chance of electing anyone presidential yet. Brown could fill a need. I would prefer Bloomberg, or Mitt, or McCain even, but that’s just not going to happen–

        DOOMERS— discuss this now! POST at once!!!

        Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 29 January, 2016, 10:12

    Jerry left us before to run for POTUS. He does not have our permission to ever do that again!

    The biggest liar in the Republican field is Fiorina!

    Clinton is most qualified.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 29 January, 2016, 15:32

      You are right on both counts SeeSaw!!!

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 29 January, 2016, 16:31

        Gov Brown has done such a remarkable job here in California I can see why so many would like him to run for potus! We have a Thriving,Booming Economy and California is the envy of this Nation. Hillary has politics running threw her veins and its just what the Clintons were born to do. She has the political experience and will be able to deal better with leaders of other countries. I love how CEO types like Trump aren’t used to having people give them crap! He turned and ran like a whiny little bitch!!! hah…..

        Reply this comment
      • Dude
        Dude 29 January, 2016, 16:33

        Moonbeam can leave at any time to fulfill whatever appropriate low-skilled hard labor job that will have him. But, since 2008 we’ve seen how much damage an idiot/liberal can do to our country if he’s sitting in the White House. So please Jerry, stay away from such an important job.

        Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 30 January, 2016, 00:13

          Gov Brown has done such a remarkable job here in California.. Hahahaha….I will say Klown would be average if not for his Krazee Train….of curse it could be worse, we could have a moron like Teddy Steals as gov 😉

          Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 30 January, 2016, 00:14

          Gov Brown has done such a remarkable job here in California.. Hahahaha….I will say Klown would be average if not for his Krazee Train….of colurse it could be worse, we could have a moron like Teddy Steals as gov 😉

          Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 1 February, 2016, 18:59

      Take your meds! You’re obviously delusional.

      Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 January, 2016, 09:12

    Pooo Pooo

    Your truck stop career getting to you Bro……Teddy has gone really light on you in recent months…..the Sage of CWD and your political counter weight……he likes you….he respects you….why not be cordial instead of being a grimy insignificant on the way to nowhere particularily uplifting-

    Reply this comment
    • T Ted CWD Hero
      T Ted CWD Hero 30 January, 2016, 18:47

      Thanks U Haul— you keep my morale up—- I do the best I can out here with the lesser intellects but it aint easy!

      Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 2 February, 2016, 12:53

    NTHEOC is still living in lala land at the end of Stupid Street in Dumbberg

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 2 February, 2016, 19:39

    Wow plover, you must have thought long and hard about that response!

    Reply this comment

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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