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Two Ghosts of the Clintons’ Past Embrace the Presidential Candidate

Jerry Brown and Jesse Jackson line up behind Hillary

Rev. Jesse Jackson led a refrain of "It's healing time. It's hope time. It's Hillary time." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rev. Jesse Jackson led a refrain of "It's healing time. It's hope time. It's Hillary time." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

California Gov. Jerry Brown once called Bill Clinton “the prince of sleaze.”  

Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton got crosswise after the former president denounced rapper Sister Souljah for anti-white rhetoric.  

But on Wednesday, at the Democratic National Convention, Brown and Jackson sang Hillary Clinton’s praises despite their sometimes-fractious pasts with her husband.  

“It’s healing time. It’s Hope Time. It’s Hillary Time,” Jackson said frequently in a chant.  

Jackson said Wednesday that Clinton understood the need to listen to the Black Lives Matter movement and to ban assault weapons.  

In the past, Jackson’s relationship with the Clinton’s husband has had its ups and downs.  

In 1992, when campaigning for president, Bill Clinton spoke at the Rainbow Push Coalition and criticized Sister Souljah for comments that were interpreted as a threat against white people.  

“If you took the words white and black and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech,” Clinton said in reference to the former Ku Klux Klan leader.  

Jackson lashed back at Bill Clinton and defended  the rapper, saying Sister Souljah “represents the feelings and hopes of a whole generation of people.”  

However, Jackson also became a trusted  spiritual adviser to Bill Clinton in the midst of the revelation of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and Clinton eventually awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

UNITED STATES - JULY 27: California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
California Governor Jerry Brown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Gov. Jerry Brown also spoke at the convention despite his own contentious relationship with both of the Clintons.  

Most famously, in a 1992 Democratic primary debate, Brown, who had served his first two terms as governor, accused Bill Clinton of funneling money for state business to Hillary’s law firm.  

The then-Arkansas governor responded acidly.  

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife,” Clinton said. “You’re not worth being on the same platform as my wife.”  

Jerry Brown caused a ruckus at the 1992 Democratic convention in New York, when he tried to parlay his 600 delegates into a prime-time speaking slot without promising to endorse Bill Clinton.    

At that time, Hillary Clinton took a jab at Brown.  

“You know, I’ve never known Jerry not to speak when he wants to speak. He’s always speaking, near as I can tell.”    


Jerry Brown’s Long, Strange Trip to a Clinton Peace


Since then, the Clintons and Brown have buried the hatchet. The former president would campaign with Brown when he ran for governor again in 2010.  

Brown would return the favor in kind, endorsing Clinton in the presidential primary in his state.  

In his speech, Brown spoke at length about Clinton while ripping into Donald Trump.  

“While Trump Talks and talks and talks, Hillary does stuff,” he said. “She fights for us on the big issues.”

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