Opinion: Bill Clinton’s not-so-surprising Brown endorsement


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Bill Clinton is nothing if not timely -- or at least mindful of enhancing his above-it-all elder statesman cred. Jerry Brown’s apology for his ‘I did not have taxes with that state’ joke at Clinton’s expense had barely finished being exhaled when the ex-president gave his endorsement to his 1992 Democratic primary foe. Reporter Seema Mehta reports on The Times’ PolitiCal blog:

Former President Clinton endorsed Jerry Brown’s bid to become governor on Tuesday, saying he and Brown had put the ugliness from their 1992 primary battle behind them and that Republican Meg Whitman’s ad that featured him was misleading.


‘I strongly support Jerry Brown for governor because I believe he was a fine mayor of Oakland, he’s been a very good attorney general, and he would be an excellent governor at a time when California needs his creativity and fiscal prudence,’ Clinton said in a statement to The Times.

For all the ink spilled over the temporarily rekindled Brown-Clinton rivalry, I can’t say I’m surprised by the former president’s endorsement. Days before the 2008 election, Clinton had no problem (or at least appeared not to have one) sharing a stage with President Obama, a man who was far more effective than Brown in fending off a Clinton White House ascendancy. Plus, Clinton’s announcement puts Whitman in an awkward position should she continue running an ad featuring her opponent’s most prominent endorser.

-- Paul Thornton