Brown to run: 'I've done it before'

Legal News Line Jan. 23, 2009, 12:35pm

Jerry Brown (D)

Dianne Feinstein (D)

Willie Brown (D)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - California Attorney General Jerry Brown appears to have taken the advice of fellow long-time Bay Area Democrat, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

A Washington Post Web site report said Brown confirmed he will run for governor in 2010. According to the report, when asked why he would run for governor again, he said "Why not? I've done it before."

While the comment may sound casual, a lifetime of politics has made Brown among the most media savvy politicians in the state. No stranger to the power of national press - Brown ran three times for president - it is safe to assume his seemingly off-the-cuff comments were well planned.

Brown has been raising money for such a run since June. His public comments to date have only served to fuel expectations. But political analysts said he was waiting to see what U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would do before announcing his intention to run.

Enter Willie Brown, no relation. In his column for the San Francisco Chronicle, the city's first black mayor and California's first black speaker of the state Assembly said the attorney general told everyone at a December gathering of political insiders that he was deadly serious about launching an attempt to return to the post he held for two terms in the 1970s and 1980s.

"Jerry was singularly focused on Dianne Feinstein," Willie Brown wrote back in December.

Willie Brown wrote that he asked Jerry if was "deadly serious" about running.

"'I am, I am,'" the attorney general responded.

"So I told him: 'Then you should announce. Make it serious,'" Brown wrote. "Dianne is not going to run in a crowd of people."

While Jerry Brown, 70, has not made an official announcement, he has spent the last few days making several high-profile appearances at who's who events in Washington D.C. as part of the inaugural events.

Brown's statement to the Washington Post is likely intended to remove any uncertainty about his intentions, which sets the table for an a post-inaugural announcement.

Feinstein, encouraged by a poll that showed her the decided favorite even over the likes of Jerry Brown should she run, admitted a sincere interest in running for governor last summer. But she's since been named director of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a post that makes her one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington.

During a public event Sunday, Feinstein introduced Jerry Brown, describing him as the "attorney general and who knows?" drawing laughs from the A-List crowd.

Feinstein was San Francisco's Mayor prior to becoming a Senator back when Jerry Brown was governor. Her first political appointment came from Brown's father, then Gov. Pat Brown. Feinstein also officiated Brown's 2004 wedding to Anne Gust

More News