Farewell, Jerry

The modernist official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown was painted by Don Bachardy in 1984 after Brown’s first stint as California governor from 1975 to 1983. Brown was re-elected to two more terms in 2010 and 2014.*

Times flies.

I recall 2010, when I saw Jerry Brown at a couple of public campaign events, excited that he most likely would be elected California’s governor again. (His opponent in 2010 was self-funded billionaire Nutmeg Whitman, who wanted to be governor because as a brat she never got that pony, I joked at the time.)

For the past eight years Brown wasn’t a particularly exciting, but he was a very competent and stable, governor of the nation’s most populous state.

To name just one of his accomplishments, despite the fact that the wingnuts, who always are fact-free, still claim that California is in a deep state budget deficit because of that liberal tax-and-spend thing, dontcha know, Brown turned the $26 billion budget deficit that he inherited from Repugnican Arnold Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger in January 2011 into a current $14 billion surplus. (Brown erased the budget deficit within a few years of taking over the governorship again.)

This is the pattern — Repugnicans dig us into holes and Democrats get us out of them, even though the wingtards claim that the exact opposite is the case.

Probably Brown’s No. 1 cause in his second round as governor has been climate change, against which he made some notable progress, although he was hamstrung by a fairly do-nothing Obama administration and a climate-change-denying Pussygrabber administration.

If it weren’t for his age (he’s 80), I think that Brown would be a great presidential candidate. (And it’s not so much that he isn’t functioning well enough at eight decades, but that the public perception is that he’s too old to be president, and in politics, public perception, no matter how misguided, is as good as reality.)

I wish Jerry Brown the best in his remaining days (years, hopefully), and I hope that incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is inaugurated on Monday, keeps the gains that Brown brought to the nation’s greatest state.

*Brown was able to run for governor again in 2010 because the two-term limit for California’s governor became effective only after he’d already been governor in the 1970s and 1980s.

If Brown could have run for a third term and decided to do so, he would have won it, I’m sure.

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