November of 1974, when he was elected for the first time:
Ezra Klein calls this "the most devastating ad of the season." Meh. It's not that it's a bad spot but that it's the kind of ad whose reception is mostly determined by political circumstances. Simply put, Brown's throwback to the past is charming because he is leading Meg Whitman by 5 points. If the picture were reversed, then we would all be bemoaning his failed attempt to remind California of the glory days.
To be fair, though, this is the case with most political advertisements; how they are received has little to do with their actual quality and everything to do with the dynamics of the race itself.
-- Jamelle Bouie