Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

I Didn't Stick to a Message In This Campaign

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    California Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown gestures while speaking during a news conference August 31, 2010 in Oakland, California. Attorney general Brown announced that law enforcement officers had arrested key members of the Nuestra Familia gang who had orchestrated crimes from inside prison using cell phones. Brown called for a solution to end the use of contraband cellular phones inside prisons.

    Maybe Republicans are right. You really can't help a person who won't help himself.

    Take Jerry Brown, who had been winning a fight with Meg Whitman over a campaign attack ad of hers that crossed lines of truth. Whitman used a clip of President Clinton denouncing Jerry Brown during a 1992 presidential debate for misleading the public about his record on taxes in California. Clinton cited a CNN report at the time, a report that was partially wrong, as Clinton and the report's original author have indicated. There was talk that Clinton might come to California to help with Brown's campaign.

    Everything was going pretty well, until Brown started talking on Sunday in Los Angeles. See the above video for the details. But in that video, he took on the ad -- fine so far -- but then insulted Clinton, reminding people that the former president had a reputation for lying and alluding to the former president's famous false lie in the Monica Lewinsky case: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

    Brown's version: "I did not have taxes with this state." He was right on the facts -- Brown cut taxes -- but utterly wrong to say such a thing. Insulting a popular Democratic president when you're trying to convince Democrast to come out and vote for you (especially when you're running a less than inspiring campaign) is dumb. So Brown apologized, having turned a potential victory into a setback.