Timeless—and Wise—Advice

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By Mark Shields

On a Sunday morning two days before the crucial California presidential primary, hundreds of college- age volunteers crowded into their candidate's campaign headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco to get their marching instructions for getting every registered voter the campaign had identified as backing Sen. Robert Kennedy to the polls on June 4, 1968.

It was there I heard, for the first time, the thensecond- term California assemblyman who was on his way to becoming the longest-serving speaker of the California Assembly in history and then San Francisco's first African-American mayor, the charismatic Willie Brown. To a rapt audience of selfconsciously idealistic young people, Brown delivered a timeless sermon about the value and virtue of practical politics.


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