Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Once the media darling at Democratic conventions, Jerry Brown not coming this year

Governor Jerry Brown

Andres Aguila/KPCC

It was 1976 — 36 years ago — when Jerry Brown first ran for president. He ran again in 1980, but it was his 1992 run that I remember.

He ain't coming.

California's colorful governor is sitting out this Democratic National Convention. Too many bills to review since the state legislature finally adjourned and sent hundreds of items for him to consider signing into law. It's just not going to be the same political convention without him.

It was 1976 — 36 years ago — when Jerry Brown first ran for president. He ran again in 1980, but it was his 1992 run that I remember. 

It was my first political convention, the DNC in NYC. I was freelancing for AP and NPR and it was my first experience with the national press corps — those pushy, annoying, know-it-all reporters based in Washington, DC.  They loved Jerry Brown and followed him all over the city. And Brown loved the attention. He was fun to cover in those days when he did the unexpected. 

I guess he's playing true to form: not showing up before a national press corps is certainly unexpected.

There is one other reason Jerry Brown is staying away: his father-in-law died earlier this week. 

There's a political connection there as well: Rockwell (Rocky) Gust ran for lieutenant governor himself.  In Michigan. His running mate? Mitt Romney's father George Romney. 

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