All five of the leading candidates are smart and committed, and they all seem to be driven by the opportunity to lead. Still, as usual, the minutiae of the campaign has tended to swallow up big ideas.
Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel's proposal to add 2,800 police officers and Fire Department personnel lends credence to the notion that City Hall knowingly promises more than it can deliver.
Plausible strategies for Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James and Jan Perry to win in the March primary and go on to the May runoff.
In the mayoral race, City Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes parts of downtown and South L.A., has been overshadowed, but she believes that will change as voters get to know her.
Garcetti has a base in his Hollywood district and support in other parts of Los Angeles. Some question his lack of executive experience, but he says he has proved he can get things done.
Developer Rick Caruso and investment banker Austin Beutner both want to be regarded as the preeminent candidate appealing to Republicans in the race, a mixed blessing in one of the nation's most stalwart Democratic cities.