“It was very clear that here is a guy who is invested in California and is not some kind of political hustler or gimmick man,” says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, political scientist at University of Southern California. “He has a long history in this state and understands it well.”
“It was a fine speech. This was not the firebrand Jerry Brown of 1975,” says Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento. “This was the older, wiser, more patient Jerry Brown.”
Brown promised to focus on the state's financial problems and asked Californians to prepare to make hard choices about what they want from their state government. He was introduced by his wife of five years, former Gap Inc. executive Anne Gust Brown, inside Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. She held a Bible that was her grandfather's and was used during her wedding to Brown.
The austere ceremony – followed by hot dogs and chips for attendees – was not without its lighter moments. During the oath, in repeating the words, “without mental reservation,” Brown verbally stumbled, paused and said, “no really … without mental reservation ….” The crowded howled.