We are entering 2014 in ten days, and yet, we are going back to the past, the extreme past, in fact, when we learn that California Governor Jerry Brown and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean are considering running for President in 2016.
Jerry Brown is not just a “wild card”, but also he is the “wildest card” of all, having run for President three times in the past 40 years, and being age 78 in 2016. Brown was Governor of California for two terms from 1975-1983, and after being Attorney General and Oakland Mayor, came back as Governor in 2011, making him the youngest and oldest Governor in California history.
Brown ran in 1976 against Jimmy Carter in the primaries and caucuses, and then challenged the reelection campaign of Carter, along with Ted Kennedy, in 1980. Then, he ran in the 1992 campaign against the ultimate winner, Bill Clinton, and bad blood was spilled between the two men. Now, if Brown ran, he would be challenging Hillary Clinton, stirring up again the bad blood that developed 22 years ago.
Brown has always been a gadfly, an annoyance, and both Southern Democratic Presidents elected in the past 40 years saw him as an annoying “mosquito”, as he was seen as weird and flaky by many, and is still seen as that in his old age by many observers.
Howard Dean was Governor of Vermont from 1991-2003, and was the frontrunner for awhile in the 2004 Presidential campaign, but collapsed quickly and made a fool of himself by his shrieks after the Iowa Caucuses, and John Kerry went on to become the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004, losing to George W. Bush. Dean has been a commentator on public affairs, and a left wing critic of Barack Obama, but at age 68 in 2016, could be part of the race again, although the odds are heavy that he will not get very far in his challenge to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and any other Democrats who might decide to run, including former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who has the virtue of being a “new face” in the race, and a lot younger than either Brown or Dean.
Brown particularly, and even Dean, could be seen as being almost like Harold Stassen was in the Republican Party, politicians who have had their moment in the sun, but fail to realize that the time has passed on them, and that we are not about to nominate a 78 year old “has been”, or even a 68 year old “wannabe”!