Useful Notes: Jerry Brown

"I've been in office and I've been out of office. And if I were to choose, I'd rather be in office."

The oldest Governor of California, a perennial presidential candidate, and a man who deserves the nickname of Moonbeam.

Born April 7, 1938, Edmund Gerald Brown is the son of 32nd Californian Governor Pat Brown, has spent a long life being everything BUT a normal politician:, Secretary of State, Governor (1975-1983), a failed run for Senate, 3 failed runs for president, A Mayor, Attorney General, and finally Governor again (2011-present).

Brown started as a Fiscal Conservative, cutting his own perks like the limo and mansion and balancing California's budget, and a Liberal in other senses (death penalty, environment, gay rights, campaigning against Proposition 13, etc). Before term limits were introduced to California, Brown left after 2 terms to try for the Senate. He lost, that and the 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic Primaries. After 6 years in self-imposed political exile, he returned as Mayor of Oakland (1999-2007), using his brand of politics to strengthen the mayor's office and reverse the downward trend of the city. After 8 years he ran for Attorney General, won and held the position for 4 years under Arnold Schwarzenegger. During this period, both he and Schwarzenegger refused to defend the anti-gay Proposition 8 in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit which ultimately deemed it unconstitutional, Brown arguing that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment and should be repealed. He later succeeded him as Governor, winning an election against EBay CEO Meg Whitman.

36 years after he first took office as the 34th Governor, Jerry Brown was inaugurated as the 39th Governor.

He is also the Governor Brown in the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles". Ironically enough, frontman Jello Biafra admitted Brown was a pretty good guy around the 2010 election.

Tropes pertaining to Moonbeam:

  • Arch-Enemy: To Bill Clinton in 1992. During the campaign, Brown jumped on Clinton's shadier practices. At the Illinois primary, Brown brought Hilary into the argument, which really set Clinton off.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
  • Like Father, Like Son: Dad was a Governor, so was Jerry. Of course, Jerry was Governor twice. Take that, Dad!
  • Long Runners: Although he did take a break in the nineties.
  • Old Shame: Mike Royko, the journalist who coined the term "Governor Moonbeam", later expressed his regret at doing so, stating that Brown was "just as serious as any other politician".
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Just count all of them.