@The Guss Report — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has a big problem. The “gelatinous one,” so named because he never will give a straight answer (e.g. is L.A. a sanctuary city or not?) wants to run for president.
Both history and his resume say it never will happen.
Having spent most of his adult life as either an L.A. City Council member or mayor, and little else other than being a candidate for political jobs elsewhere, Mr. Garcetti is a birdie who never flew the coop.
How’s that working out, L.A.?
Homelessness in L.A., especially for veterans, isn’t something that suddenly got worse when Mr. Garcetti became mayor. But it has grown exponentially during the 4½ years he was City Council member, the six years he was City Council president and the 4-plus years he has been mayor.
It is getting worse by the minute. Mr. Garcetti carries more responsibility than anyone presently in City Hall for not fixing it.
Replace the word homelessness in the above sentence with traffic, debt and pension chaos, shooting of unarmed black men, a dearth of affordable housing for the middle class, dwindling ridership on public transportation despite his foolish “road diet,” not getting Farmer’s Field built or landing the Rams, Chargers or the Super Bowl which will be played down the way in a few years.
He said he would try to get the Dodgers broadcast situation resolved, but didn’t. And if the Los Angeles media weren’t so gullible on homeless, animal and cruelty issues, he wouldn’t get away with his phony claim that L.A. is a “No Kill” city. More on that soon.
Yes, Mr. Garcetti landed an Olympics. But not the one he wanted. If there is any glory coming his way for that – and that’s a big if – it won’t be until years after he leaves office.
For a long while now, Mr. Garcetti has tried to escape L.A. City Hall, despite his protestations that he loves his current job, including almost immediately after he was elected mayor in July 2013.
Remember how quickly he vied to become President Obama’s HUD Secretary? In July 2014, that job went to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who had five years of mayoralty experience under his belt by that time.
To Garcetti, LA has always been a stepping stone, but almost always a mismanaged one.
During his stint as Los Angeles City Council president, the City Hall lawn became a drug- and feces-infested disaster – with his blessing – as he told Occupy LA protestors: “Stay as long as you need….we’re here to support you.”
But just weeks later, Mr. Garcetti’s welcomed guests created such a menace and health hazard, the city unleashed hundreds of LAPD officers on them through the bowels of L.A. City Hall as the property was closed down for months with scores of workers in hazmat suits de-pooping and de-needling it.
To add insult to injury, the 2011 City Council motion overseen by Mr. Garcetti that supported the Occupiers, resulted in your paying out $2.45 million to them in 2015 for the LAPD’s abusive “shock and awe” methods.
Even history outside of L.A. shows that Mr. Garcetti will not make the jump to the Oval Office, try as he might.
Not in the Same Breath
American mayors almost never become president.
Those who did (Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge) both had long tenures in New York and Massachusetts, respectively, including state senate president, lieutenant governor, governor and, in Mr. Coolidge’s case, as vice president of the United States.
America’s greatest mayor in the last half century, New York’s Rudy Giuliani – one of the all-time greats — has a resume that includes titles like U.S. Attorney, taking on and beating everyone from the mafia to Wall Street crooks Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.
Then, as New York mayor, he cleaned up 42nd Street, built up the NYPD and was the Rock of Gibraltar in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
He didn’t even come close to getting his party’s nomination.
Last week, the L.A. Times wrote that Mr. Garcetti is spending a lot of time in faraway places that a prospective presidential nominee would go to be seen and heard.
That is squandered time and energy he should be spending here on L.A.’s problems as our mayor, a job he says he wants but whose actions show otherwise.
Whoever runs against President Trump – or perhaps President Pence – in 2020, it will not likely be a Californian, since the nominee will need both accomplishment and appeal to the Midwest, South and places not named L.A. and N.Y.
Mr. Garcetti lacks all of it. The only way for him to even sniff D.C. is through the eventually vacated seat of Senator Dianne Feinstein, and he is no shoe-in for that, either.
The one thing Mr. Garcetti probably fears most is becoming the next Antonio Villaraigosa.
A former mayor in search of his next gig, when he has little to show so far for his time in L.A. ike his predecessor, he may have to settle for corporate boards and lecturing at a university.
Mr. Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. Verifiable tips and story ideas may be sent to him at TheGussReport@gmail.com.