Backers Push Jerry Brown to Run for President in 2016

Image: Backers Push Jerry Brown to Run for President in 2016

Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 11:12 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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California's liberal Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't ruled out a fourth run for the presidency, but as the nation's oldest governor at 75, he admits that "time is kind of running out on that."

Supporters are pushing Brown to run again, reports The Los Angeles Times.

But he'd likely have to take on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the nomination, if she declares her candidacy, a prospect that could give him one of his toughest challenges.

Brown is up for re-election next year, although he has not officially announced his campaign. His spokesman, Jim Evans, when asked if Brown would rule out another presidential bid, noted that Brown has commented that he will "just have to stay and do the work of the governor, which I actually enjoy because I have some perspective that I didn't used to have."

Brown sought the presidency in 1976, 1980, and 1992, and has in recent years used California and its economic comeback under his tenure in office as a model that the rest of the nation should follow, noting the improvements the state made were made without waiting for the federal government to help.

"Things happen in California that are not happening in Washington," said Brown in a San Francisco appearance in October. "We can do a lot of things in California to shift the [political] climate throughout the whole country."

In addition, memories of the extremely left-wing politician whose nickname "Moonbeam" followed him for years, are starting to face somewhat, reports an LA Times analysis piece.

Brown actually grew up as a political scion in California, reports The Guardian.

He is the son of the late Gov. Pat Brown, who served two terms before being defeated for a third term by Ronald Reagan.

Jerry Brown, at 36, defeated GOP State Controller Houston I. Flournoy in 1974 for the governor's seat. His policies during that first term, including a penchant for space exploration and computers, led to the "Moonbeam" nickname that follows him to this day.

However, Brown has adopted a more centrist attitude, and more current polls among California voters, rank him high for his role in the state's resurgence. Brown also has  become regarded as a more moderate senior politician who pushes against liberals on issues like gun control and business regulations.

Ralph Nader, who himself is a perpetual presidential candidate, says that "every move [Brown is] making is the move of a potential candidate."

Brown has also proven successful in past presidential primaries. He was the last candidate left in a bitter presidential primary race before Bill Clinton was nominated in 1992.

A showdown against Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016 could prove dramatic as a result, after Brown made accusations about her character and ethics during the 1992 race in connection with her connections with a prominent Arkansas law firm while her husband was the governor of that state.

The Clintons and Brown have mended their fences somewhat, although Brown did not endorse Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and opposed many of Clinton's agenda items, including the Northern American Free Trade Agreement, welfare reform, and other Clinton administration initiatives.

Further, a Brown campaign may give Democrats another choice besides Hillary Rodham Clinton, which Nader derides as being pushed by the "coronation" from the Democratic Party establishment.

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