28 years after leaving the same post, Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. was sworn in as California’s 39th governor Monday in front of a crowd of 3000 in Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium.
Among such politicians as Nancy Pelosi and former California governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, Brown delivered a 17-minute address in which he talked about restoring citizen faith in government as well as the “painful cuts” he must approve next week.
“The budget I propose will assume that each of us elected to do the people’s business will rise above ideology … It is a tough budget for tough times,” Brown said.
The serious tone of his address was a removal from what voters saw during his campaign, however some of the lightheartedness did remain.
“Really, no mental reservation,” Brown restated to laughter after stumbling over his original answer to whether he could mentally complete the job.
“I think the good humor he brought to it is a recognition of the challenge that he faces,” Pelosi said. “And he does so, again, with no mental reservations. No kidding.”
Brown was 36 when he first became governor, one of the youngest ever at the time. At 72, he is now the oldest to ever take the office, yet he pointed out the similarities of both inaugurations.
“Then, 1975, it was the ending of the Vietnam War and a recession caused by the Middle East oil embargo. Now … it is our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and our economy caught in the undertow of a deep and prolonged recession,” Brown said.
Brown became the first Governor of California to serve non-consecutive terms as well as the only the second to serve a third one.