Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made clear from the outset of his appearance at the Sacramento Press Club on Tuesday that he would not be offering definitive pronouncements on his future.
But his remarks did little to dampen what has become a rowdy parlor game among California politicos: speculating on just what Garcetti will do next.
Garcetti's name has been bandied about for the 2018 race for California governor and as a possible contender for the 2020 presidential election.
"I haven’t made a decision about governor," Garcetti said. "I’m going to take a little bit more time to think about it. And I’m much more focused on today, my responsibilities in L.A. than plotting my political future."
He quickly pivoted to touting his years being active in national politics by collaborating with mayors across the country.
Garcetti said he has not committed to remaining as Los Angeles mayor until his term ends in 2022.
"I will say I'm committed to the people of Los Angeles," he said. "They elected me to help solve the problems, address the challenges we have and also have a presence statewide and nationally in making sure we bring resources and help one another."
Garcetti acknowledged he has contemplated a gubernatorial run and is having conversations to mull his options.
"I know we can make an impact in local government — right now that feels like that's where the action's at. I think that's where the innovation is," Garcetti said. "But I care about the state. ...This isn't about a political calculus, this is a very personal decision. What's in your heart, what's in your gut and what's best for your family."
One path he appeared to rule out definitively: challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who announced Monday she will seek reelection next year. Garcetti, who is hosting a fundraiser for Feinstein on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills, swiped at Democrats who may consider taking her on.
“The idea of Democrats challenging [Feinstein] right now — that is ripped from the corrosive playbook of our quote-unquote enemies," he said, adding that Democrats should focus their energies on flipping seats currently held by Republicans.