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Jerry Brown: The View From England

| November 3, 2010
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Even in Blighty, they still remember Jerry Brown.

From The Guardian

Governor Moonbeam is back. In one of the most remarkable stories of political resurrection in recent American history, Jerry Brown has won back the governorship of California, regaining a post he first won in the 1970s.

Brown, who earned his nickname during his first turn as governor after advocating hi-tech ideas that are now commonplace, defeated the high-spending Republican candidate Meg Whitman.

And from a column in The Telegraph by Damian Thompson:

For me, the weirdest result of the night was the re-election as Governor of California of a man who first held the job when Harold Wilson was in Downing Street. Jerry Brown succeeded Ronald Reagan as governor (who himself succeeded Jerry’s father, Pat Brown, in the job) and went on to give Jimmy Carter a run for his money in the 1976 Democratic primaries. As a schoolboy, all I knew about him was that he was an ex-seminarian turned ultra-liberal Catholic, hung out with hippies and refused to live in the governor’s mansion. He was also very strongly opposed to the death penalty. In the 80s, after he left office, he was rumoured to have become some sort of Buddhist, and that was the last anyone on this side of the Atlantic heard of him for a very long time. To be honest, until a couple of years ago I had assumed he was either dead or living in an ashram for senior citizens. (He’s 72.)

Now I’ve checked out his Wikipedia profile and, boy, it’s a weird one. He had a penchant for the company of pop stars – he once dated Linda Ronstadt – and he remained a bachelor until 1990, when he married Anne Gust in a civil ceremony conducted by Senator Dianne Feinstein, of all people, with a Catholic service afterwards.

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