Eric Garcetti – like Kamala Harris – may have White House on mind

California Sen. Kamala Harris’ splashy first year in Washington has made her a fixture on lists of potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates – and not as an interesting long shot but as someone with a strong chance.

While the California Legislature’s recent vote to move the state’s 2020 presidential primary from June to March was seen in the Golden State as yet another attempt to make America’s most populous, richest state more of a factor in deciding the presidential nomination, a Newsweek analysis last month saw it as an attempt to boost Harris’ potential White House bid. The Newsweek headline: “Is Kamala Harris Now the 2020 Favorite to Take on Trump?”

In 2016, California had 548 delegates at the Democratic Convention – nearly one-quarter of the 2,382 needed for the nomination that year. The numbers are likely to be similar in 2020, potentially giving Harris a big boost in the nomination race after voting in Iowa, New Hampshire and a handful of other states possibly more inclined to back more familiar Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

But there appears to be a fair chance that the assumption Harris would be the clear choice in the Golden State faces a huge complication: the presence of another popular, fresh California politician in the Democratic nomination mix.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has hinted that he’s thinking about running for governor in 2018 as well as president in 2020. After his recent appearance at the Sacramento Press Club, a Los Angeles Times account said his coy responses to questions about his political future “did little to dampen what has become a rowdy parlor game among California politicos: speculating on just what Garcetti will do next.”

The idea that Los Angeles residents might be upset about a Garcetti presidential bid because it would take him away from his duties as mayor is undercut by a Loyola Marymount poll released last month. It showed 63 percent of the 914 Los Angeles County residents surveyed were “strongly supportive” or “somewhat supportive” of Garcetti seeking the White House.

A Politico analysis in May offered a look at why a Garcetti bid intrigues some in the upper ranks of the Democratic establishment. It described him as a handsome 46-year-old who “was just re-elected to a second term with 81 percent of the vote, and is half-Mexican (he speaks Spanish fluently) and half-Jewish (he’s an active member of a very progressive L.A. synagogue), a Rhodes scholar and former Navy intelligence reserve officer.”

Harris, who turned 53 Friday, also has an attractive personal story in a Democratic Party on the lookout for candidates who can inspire large turnouts among young and minority voters. She has a Jamaican-American father and Indian-American mother and has been a trailblazer throughout her political career.

Both have records with fodder for attack ads

But if either Garcetti or Harris seek the White House, rival Democrats will have no shortage of fodder for attack ads.

Garcetti was first elected mayor in 2013 and cruised to re-election earlier this year, facing no serious opposition. He is considered hard-working and an impressive policy wonk.

But Los Angeles has emerged as the epicenter of American poverty in recent years thanks to high housing costs and the departure of Fortune 500 firms and mid-sized businesses alike. A 2014 blue-ribbon report commissioned by the City Council depicted Los Angeles as “facing economic decline, weighed down by poverty, strangled by traffic and suffering from a crisis of leadership,” according to a Los Angeles Times account. Garcetti has not reversed this downward arc, leading to a Los Angeles magazine article in August lamenting how Silicon Valley had far eclipsed the Los Angeles region.

As for Harris, her record during six years as attorney general was more mixed than some national coverage assumes – and at times at odds with now-ascendant Bernie Sanders-style populism. While she achieved high-profile wins in going after corporate malfeasance  – starting with shady mortgage lenders  – she was not a leader in criminal-justice reform in an era in which the movement built up momentum in California with dramatic changes in sentencing and parole laws. Some editorial writers challenged her description of herself as a “bold leader.” Jacobin magazine, which has a devoted following among progressives, was much harsher, depicting her as having “two faces” on crime and siding with reactionary tough-on-crime policies repeatedly while attorney general. Other liberal voices strongly agree, as the New Republic reported in August.

As California AG, Harris also continued a long bipartisan tradition that appalls good-government advocates: writing slanted descriptions of ballot measures that are meant to help or hurt the proposals. In 2015, for example, the liberal San Francisco Chronicle editorial page blasted Harris for ballot language that effectively killed a pension reform campaign in its infancy.

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  1. edryan221
    edryan221 1 March, 2020, 15:21

    Just how corrupt is honest reporting today? in light of the LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Scandal, that I have been, without success trying to expose from the angle of LAPD cover-up or damage control from initial reports, I’d say the LA news media is very corrupt.
    Blacks in LA are 43 percent of the homeless population , and that is why the “LAPD Crimebuster vigilante Scandal is about racist hate crimes and cover-up. Why is California Attorney General Becerra being protected by the press (intercept included) On 8/1/18 WRAP lawyers filed the complaint below , yet Becerra’s office refuses to investigate. When pressed on the issue lightly by the LA Times Emily Reyes, the Cal AG response was the lie that the office does not confirm or deny investigations. That is a great way to stay non-transparent and good enough for the Times . but it is a lie. Recently Becerra’s office confirmed investigation into the “LA{PD Latino Cal-Gang affiliation scandal, yet still no follow up on the earlier LAPD Crime vigilante buster status. THe LAPD is behind this cover-up as any real investigation will show widespread use of Anti-homeless hate crime from all 12 of the LAPD Crimebuster Facebook groups across LA. I challenge the intercept to do the right thing and just ask Becerra why no investigation and provide some honest reporting on hids answer www.

    Below is News Issue I’m now reporting and do hope for better results.


    “The JFK/Oswald/Scientology and “Feye Effect” CIA Conspiracy Theory” Ebook by Ed Ryan is the basis for Screen Play Ryan is selling. CIA Documents Released provide the truth behind “voices in the head” and JFK Truth Out:
    Oswald a Radar Tech When “Frey Effect” from Radar CIA Developed “Frey Effect” Voices Directed at Head for Thought. Fast forward to LA and Ryan describes 3 years on the LA street doing political action and street art while being brutally targeted by Scientologist and Law Enforcement with modern portable “Frey Effect” technology.

    The screen play recreates the exciting discover and deep state development of the Frey Theory Government scientist Frey discovers that micro-waves from radar can be beamed at the head of unsuspecting victims to cause sounds and voices to be produced by the brains cortex. The victims feels them as like thought feelings. The CIA Ultra- program and Oswald’s stint as a ‘Radar Tech’ at a 1957 CIA U2 airbase in Japan in 1957. Recently In LA, Scientology, LAPD and other bad players, use of ‘Frey Effect” technology to Psychologically tortured “targeted victims” Ryan re-creates some of his experiences doing political action from streets of LA from 2016-2018. Is there a happy ending? Maybe. Applying “Frey Effect”, or similar less harmful technology, “Virtual Entertainment” may be on the cusp of transformative transformation. The screen play runs 97 pages. [email protected] if your an agent.

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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