Jerry Brown, then and now

Los Angeles Times Editorial

Most Californians will not remember Jerry Brown from his first two terms as governor. In those days, between 1975 and 1983, he was stunningly youthful, heir to his father's name yet slightly at odds with his legacy, brash, serious and intellectually adventurous. Brown could seem flighty - the futon, the tumble of ideas, the pugnacity, the make-it-up-on-the-fly daily schedule - but he mirrored California as it was. He was a young governor in a young state, energetic, optimistic, a little off-kilter.

Those who have only heard tell of those days will not fully comprehend the spectacle of Gov.-elect Brown. On stage Tuesday night, he was gentle, surrounded by children, a little clunky in his movements. He was happily, conspicuously and appreciatively married. Jerry Brown, of all people, was avuncular.

So what does the new Brown share with the old? As he transitions back to the office that has been so closely associated with his family, Brown has the opportunity to demonstrate that he has retained his shrewd ability to work the levers of powers while also proving that he has outgrown some of the excesses that marred his earlier service.

Read the entire editorial at the Los Angeles Times


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