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Jerry Brown was late.

With a crowd waiting at his Oakland headquarters to cheer the start of the Democratic gubernatorial nominee's three-day, 12-city campaign tour, the announcement came about 8 a.m. from Brown staffer Ed Emerson that "Jerry is rising."

Donuts and coffee were on the way.

When he did arrive, about 30 minutes later, Brown, holding a lead over Republican Meg Whitman in the polls, was in an upbeat mood.

"Thanks for being here, kicking off this last phase of the campaign," the 72-year-old former governor said. "I've done this many times, and I always find it exciting."

Brown called campaigning "ever new," even if some of the supporters familiar to him were "not as new as you were 20 years ago."

Brown said, "After all this campaigning and all the ads and all that, that you're here at this hour of the morning, thank you very much. I mean it's a renewal of faith and enthusiasm, and that's what we need going forward."

Brown talked about jobs and the economy before losing his train of thought, saying he wasn't sure what more to say.

"I don't like to say the same old, same old," he said. "That's one of the reasons I'm always getting off script. Some candidates feel very secure with messaged discipline. I get very bored with that, because to me life is a continuing discovery."

Later, he said, "OK, I think I'll stop there because I might say something I might regret."

From his headquarters Brown went to the airport, touching for a rally in Stockton.


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