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In pitch for bullet train, Jerry Brown cites children's story

January 24, 2013 | 10:05 am

Children's bookGov. Jerry Brown is known for liberally quoting famous texts, writers and philosophers in his public remarks, and his State of the State speech was no different.

He cited Irish poet William Butler Yeats on education, French writer Montaigne on laws, and the biblical story of Joseph and the Pharaoh on financial discipline.

But amid all the highbrow references, the governor also included a beloved children's story -- “The Little Engine That Could.”

The reference wasn't in the prepared remarks handed out by the governor's office, and it came toward the end of Brown's speech as he defended the controversial high-speed rail project as critical to California's future. 

“I think I can, I think I can,” Brown said. “And over the mountain the little engine went. We’re going to get over that mountain.”

The governor closed his speech with a rallying cry.

“Two years ago they were writing our obituary,” he said. “Well, it didn’t happen. California is back.”


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 -- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Copies of "The Little Engine That Could." Credit: Los Angeles Times