California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. in a strong indication that he will soon launch his presidential candidacy, today termed President Carter's Cabinet shakeup "an effort to distance himself from his Presidential past."

"I find it hard to believe that this is going to help him in his troubles," Brown said in an interview here.

He said he will soon unveil his own "exploratory committee" for a presidential candidcy, a frequent pre-announcement device for prospective candidates. Formation of the committee probably will come within the next two weeks, Brown said.

Expectations in California had been that Brown would announce his committee a month ago. But its formation apparently was delayed because of a struggle between Brown and an increasingly hostile state legislature controlled by Democrats. Brown's strategists expressed concern that a premature announcement would make it appear that the governor's actions on state issues were dictated by presidential politics.

Now the legislature is adjourning, after three times overriding Brown vetoes of state employee pay increases.

Brown said in the interview that Carter is trying to create "phase two of his presidency and have a new beginning." But he said he doubted if this week's Cabinet changes would restore public faith in Carter's leadership