steven harmon’s take on the governor’s race

Brown, Newsom foreshadow age-vs.-youth battle

By Steven Harmon
MediaNews Sacramento Bureau
Updated: 04/26/2009 09:15:11 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO — The 2010 Democratic primary campaign for governor hasn’t quite kicked off, given that two of the top three prospects have yet to declare their candidacies. But Saturday, state party delegates got a foreshadowing of what could emerge as competing themes among Democrats over the next year: age and experience versus youth and change.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who announced his candidacy last week, played up the change part at the Democrats’ convention, and took some glancing, if coded, blows at a presumptive candidate, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, saying, “California can’t keep returning to the same old, tired ideas and expect a different result.”

The visual differences were stark. With his famously coifed and gelled hair, the 41-year-old Newsom wielded his well-crafted 15-minute speech with the aid of a Teleprompter. The 71-year-old Brown, almost fully shorn of the jet black hair he wore as a new-age governor of the 1970s, bounced from one red-meat topic to another for 15 minutes without a prepared text.

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