The idea that a candidate’s home turf ought to be the easiest place for the campaign to win would have been put to the test had L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti decided to run for president. I can say this after reading the reaction from readers to Tuesday’s announcement by the mayor that he will not run for president in 2020, which ranged from outright hostility to a Garcetti candidacy to relief that he will not spend most of the next two years in early primary states.
In fact, that home-team skepticism has also been at play with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) since she kicked off her 2020 campaign last month. For both Garcetti and Harris, most letter writers would rather they focus on the jobs voters elected them to do than run as relatively inexperienced candidates for the nation’s highest office.
Walter Dominguez of Los Angeles wants Garcetti to succeed as mayor first:
We do not need to applaud Garcetti’s decision. Focusing solely on his job as mayor of America’s second-largest city and resolving L.A.’s myriad problems should have been his only goals from the day he took office.
Using important elected positions as mere stepping stones for higher political ambitions is unethical and a betrayal of voters. It also generates cynicism and mistrust.
We’ll consider rewarding Garcetti with higher office if he succeeds at his current job.
Toby Horn of Los Angeles was by far the letter writer most opposed to a Garcetti candidacy:
During my lifelong residency in Los Angeles, I have never seen a more ineffective mayor than Garcetti. He materializes for photo-ops or at the 11th hour of Los Angeles Unified School District labor negotiations, but rarely does he truly dirty the soles of his shoes.
Thank goodness we are locked in with a new governor for the next four years, so we don’t need to worry about the mayor’s self-serving disinterest damaging the state by benign neglect as in Los Angeles. Most likely, Garcetti will hover around the edges of the 2020 Democratic campaign to see whatever assistant deputy undersecretary position he can be appointed to after the election.
Ask me how I really feel, and I will tell you.
Studio City resident Richard Whorton connects Garcetti’s withdrawal to Harris’ candidacy:
As Harris travels around the country promoting her candidacy, who takes care of business in Washington and represents the people of California?
The silver lining to Harris’ candidacy is that it has apparently forced Garcetti out of the presidential picture. Or maybe not, since he may aspire to the U.S. Senate, if everything falls into place.
Joan Walston of Santa Monica has a request:
Garcetti has pledged to focus on fixing streets and sidewalks. Since he apparently cannot achieve that, he had no business even giving the appearance of running for president.
Fix the streets, Mr. Mayor, and then ask the voters to take another look at you.