LOS ANGELES — It was dicey being Jewish in a Russia that was tolerant of pogroms, and then came the threat of conscription into the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War, so one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s great-grandfathers headed West to America. Another Garcetti great-grandfather married a Mexican woman who, fleeing revolutionary ferment there, headed north to America. Which is why Garcetti, a fourth-generation resident of the world’s most polyglot city, is as American as a kosher burrito, a delicacy available at Mexikosher on Pico Boulevard.
Trim, natty — colorful socks are, alas, fashionable — and with the polish of one born to public attention (his father Gil was LA’s district attorney who prosecuted O.J. Simpson), Garcetti, like dozens of Democrats who have noticed recent presidential history, is asking: Why not me?
Good question. Although presidents Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge had been mayors of Greenville, Tennessee, Buffalo and Northampton, Massachusetts, respectively, no mayor has gone directly from a city hall to the White House. But the 44th president came from eight years in the nation’s most docile and least admirable state legislature (Barack Obama effectively began running for president as soon as he escaped to Washington from Springfield, Illinois). The 45th came from six bankruptcies and an excruciating television show. So, it is not eccentric to think that a two-term mayor of one of the world’s most complicated cities might be as qualified to be president as was, say, the governor of one of the 23 states (Arkansas) with a population smaller than this city’s. And less challenging: LA’s schools teach children whose parents speak Tagalog and 91 other languages.
Recent history does not suggest that America has such a surplus of presidential talent that it can afford to spurn an audition by a mayor who governs where over 40 percent of waterborne …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics