Jerry Brown's problem isn't just that he doesn't have enough money to advertise a campaign message. It's also that he doesn't have a very strong message.
The Democratic attorney general's basic pitch to voters about why he should be returned to the governor's office after an absence of 28 years is that unlike his potential Republican opponent, he won't need training wheels.
But to go where?
Brown's main message was best articulated in his web-based announcement of candidacy March 2:
"Our state is in serious trouble and the next governor must have the preparation and the knowledge and the know-how to get California working again. That's what I offer."
Then he took some indirect shots at his probable GOP opponent, former EBay chief Meg Whitman, and at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:
"Some people say that . . . we need to go out and find an outsider who knows virtually nothing about state government. Well, we tried that and it doesn't work. . . . We need someone with insider's knowledge, but an outsider's mind."
OK, but to do what?
Brown continued: "At this stage of my life" -- age 72 with four decades spent mostly in government and politics-- "I'm prepared to focus on nothing else but fixing this state I love."
But how exactly?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Moonbeam's search for a message
George Skelton says if Moonbeam has a plan for the state, he needs to tell voters what it is.