Pondering Villaraigosa’s Next Political Stop – North Dakota?By Ari L. Noonan @ 10:00 AM August 09, 2012
Since almost termed-out Mayor Villaraigosa thirsts for a visible next-job in politics even more than President Obama hungers for a second term, His Honor’s sedentary pose last evening at USC was merely a flirtation with Dame Ingenuity.
Interviewed by political analyst Dan Schnur for a television taping, Mr. Villaraigosa was tantalizingly sketchy at the end of the hour-long program when questioned about his immediate future.
“I am looking forward to having time to reflect, write and give speeches,” he said, and no one in the all-Democratic audience at Taper Hall believed the semi-retreat melodies Mr. Villaraigosa was humming.
It would have been wildly imprudent to acknowledge Mr. Schnur’s mile-wide hint about a cabinet seat in a second Obama administration – say, Secretary of Transportation, replacing Ray LaHood?
He leaves office next July 1 after two four-year terms at the age of 60 – darkly handsome, and youthful in a Latin way, looking, though not necessarily sounding, as if he is eager for a larger challenge than being mayor of America’s second largest city.
He is primed to climb onto the national stage – but via what stairway?
California is all filled up – isn’t it?
Once he wanted to be governor, but mis-steps and fate knocked him so far from the running that a map would not help.
There has been talk of the U.S. Senate – would you believe from North Dakota?
Nothing happening here.
At a whopping 79 years old, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is three months away from winning about 90 percent of the vote for yet another six-year term. Twenty-year Washington veteran U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a scarcely friskier 72 years old, has four years left in her latest term, and she has no intention of leaving while upright.
As for Gov. Brown, the midway kid in age, he turned 74 years old last April. Because of age, he promised to be a one-termer, which is why he never wins at Liars Poker. The first year and a half of Mr. Brown’s third term has been so physically undemanding that he suddenly remembered a Brown is supposed to be a lifer in politics.
He didn’t run for mayor of Oakland a few years ago because he liked the view from the wrong side of the bay.
Trim, dapper and modest of height with an enviable head of ebony hair, Mr. Villaraigosa is more dapper than the Brown-Feinstein-Boxer triumvirate cumulatively.
They look old enough to be his parents, which is quite a separate yarn.
Or he could buy a discount ticket to obscurity and run for lieutenant governor in two years when Gavin Newsome tires of the shadows.