05/28/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What Actually Happened at the California Democratic Party convention

By Phil Trounstine and Jerry Roberts

Bottom line on the California Democratic Party convention: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made the biggest splash and showed off a slick campaign operation but Attorney General Jerry Brown proved anew that, even without a campaign apparatus, his political presence remains commanding.

Newsom's well-delivered speech, ubiquitous team of volunteers, flashy street party and fireside chat for bloggers signaled to potential donors, activists and cognoscenti that his nascent campaign for governor is for real.

But his effort to frame the 2010 Democratic primary as a generational battle of future versus past - casting Brown as a "stroll down memory lane" - was far from convincing. Portraying Brown as the political status quo is like trying to paint Mick Jagger as musically obsolete.

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