Attorney General Jerry Brown could moonlight as a comic.
During a speech in San Francisco Wednesday at the Geary Boulevard Merchant Association's annual awards luncheon, Brown opened by saying, “I don't know why the hell you invited me here, I'm from Oakland.”
He then tried to give The City a compliment.
“If you're from Oakland, it's a hell-of-a-lot better than if you're from San Francisco, because we get to look at you and you have to look at us.”
But then he remarked how Oakland is also a better place to live since property is more affordable.
“Crime's a little worse, but you get what you pay for,” he quipped.
Brown also complained that he didn't get an award for giving the luncheon's keynote address.
Moments later, merchant association David Heller offered him a certificate of appreciation.
“You vote for me, I'll take care of you,” Brown said.
Brown did reminisce about his family connections to The City, about where he thought he was conceived (17th and Shrader) and about attending Saint Ignatious High School.
But he did not miss an opportunity to make a not-so-vague pitch for why he should be the state's next governor. He rattled off all of the California's big problem areas, including the budget deficit, prisons, unemployment, environment, energy and so forth.
Brown also took pride for being a former governor who was “one of the least discredited” when he left office.
He also addressed his age, a distinction that is often made between him and his younger gubernatorial rival Mayor Gavin Newsom. He remarked that many in the Legislature weren't born when he was governor.
“Some say age is a problem, but with age comes forgetfulness,” he joked.
He then finished off the political segment of his speech in the way only Brown knows how.
“I didn't come here to make any political announcement,” he said.