Monday, May 16, 2005

Would-Be Governors And Mayors

Two Roundup clips worth noting - on money and politics and race and politics:

In some good news for the governor, it looks like there may be a Democratic gubernatorial primary after all. Matier and Ross report the rumor that's been circulating around Sacramento for weeks has finally come to pass: Steve Westly finally pulled the trigger on that $10 million check for his gubernatorial campaign. "Serving notice to fellow Democrat Phil Angelides that he has every intention of competing big time for the party's nomination next year. 'This is just the first,' said Westly's campaign manager, Jude Barry. 'We know we are going to have the resources to win -- and probably more than Phil.'''

And as Governor Checchi and Governor Simon know, money is everything in California politics.

...

As the campaigning continued before tomorrow's mayoral runoff, Antonio Villaraigosa played the Tom Bradley card. "'There were some who questioned whether or not he could represent the entire city,' Villaraigosa said of Bradley. 'They said, 'I know you can represent them, but can you represent all of us?' In that first election, he wasn't quite able to convince all of the people of this city.' ... 'Four years later, he was back. He was back and with him a broader coalition for a new Los Angeles. Nobody today, no one, would question whether or not Tom Bradley was a mayor for all of us. We know he was.'"

Bradley also twice ran, and lost, for governor. We figure it's only a matter of time before Villaraigosa gets similar ideas, assuming tomorrow's vote goes as expected.
Maybe it's because I'm not in LA, or because I'm firmly committed to Hahn (absentee is in the mail, Jimmy), or because I'm a mutt, or because I'm naive about race in LA (which I really don't think is the case), or just wishful thinking, but I just don't see Villaraigosa as disadvantaged by his ethnicity. If I may borrow from Sex and the City: there's a scene in the last season where Miranda's co-op is interviewing a hottie African American doctor for an apartment. She takes a liking to him and when the co-op board hesitates over financials, etc, she says "I think we all know what's not being said here," succesfully using the spectre of racial animus to get the hot doc in. I'd really hate to see Villaraigosa chalk up a loss to white Angeleno racism when it's possible that fewer people think he's the right man for the job, period. Hertzberg didn't get the nod either.

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