Jerry Brown has been a California politician for almost four decades, and it's still difficult to figure out exactly what he stands for. But now that he wants a do-over as governor, he'd better begin answering that question or Republican Meg Whitman will do it for him using her millions in campaign cash.
Brown, 72, surely won't like the picture that the likely Republican nominee intends to paint for voters in the general election.
Defenders of the former governor say he has plenty of time to hone his campaign message and he'll be ready for the fall.
I've watched Brown long enough to know you should never count him out. But he's not going to get elected by merely telling a new generation of voters that he has the experience to fix the state. That only suggests that he's been around too long.
Even with all his wins and losses as a candidate from City Hall to the presidency, Brown remains a political power in the Democratic Party in California. He forced San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and that gives him an easy ride into the general election.
Brown blinked at Newsom and the San Francisco mayor bolted from the race, claiming he wanted to spend more time with his family. That family time will be on the campaign trail for Newsom, who is now running for lieutenant governor. But Whitman isn't Newsom in her commitment to the governor's race or financial resources.
Brown has never faced a candidate with the money that Whitman has. Voters also appear to be in the mood for an outsider, not someone who was first elected to the governor's office 36 years ago.
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