Jerry Brown’s long political career will likely end in January 2019, when the 80-year-old’s second stint as California governor concludes. In the media’s eyes—and in his own mind—Brown’s gubernatorial encore has been a rousing success. His backers say that he has brought the state back, economically and fiscally, from the depths of the Great Recession, which hit California harder than it did the rest of the country. Brown has enacted an array of left-liberal policies, to the delight of progressives, and positioned California as a blue-state role model for the American future. A decade of phenomenal growth among Silicon Valley’s landmark companies has boosted the state’s image and helped restore its overall economy. Democrats hope that California will provide a template for reestablishing their appeal to voters nationwide.
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