Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Gov. Jerry Brown uttered more than 3,000 words in just under 25 minutes Thursday, telling the Legislature – and 38 million other Californians – that the state is in good shape, getting better every day and can look forward to a bright future.

“Two years ago,” Brown concluded his State of the State speech, “they were writing our obituary. Well, it didn’t happen. California is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move. Let’s go out and get it done.”

And what would “it” be?

The politician who once spoke disparagingly of “multipoint plans” offered a lengthy agenda Thursday, including changing school finance, bringing the poor into Obamacare, building water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, starting a bullet train line, overhauling environmental laws and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

There was nothing new, at least for Brown, in any of that. In fact, his advocacies of high-speed rail and a Delta water bypass go back to his first governorship.

But he managed to make it at least mildly entertaining with references to the Old Testament, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, California’s colonial history, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Butler Yeats, Renaissance essayist Michel de Montaigne and the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could.”

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