Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a decision not to run for governor in 2018 — but the Democrat might be running for president in 2020.
Should he succeed, the City of Angels’ first Jewish-Mexican mayor would also be the first mayor to become president in the 228 years since General George Washington was sworn in as our nation’s first commander-in-chief. It has also been nearly 40 years since America voted a Californian in as its president, with Ronald Reagan.
“There have been governors and generals, senators and members of Congress, secretaries of state and vice presidents,” notes the New York Times. “There was even a billionaire business executive chosen as commander in chief.” But never a mayor.
The Times notes that Garcetti has made his way to several swing states, like Florida, Nevada, and New Hampshire — and competitive states like Louisiana and Indiana — over the past few months, and given several interviews in what appears to be part of preparations for coming out on a national platform.
In many ways, President Donald Trump’s victory paved the path for individuals who would otherwise have been seen as lesser-qualified to run for the nation’s highest office.
The Democratic Party has been grappling with the task of finding its next star candidate. On Tuesday, former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to expect at least 25 potential Democratic presidential contenders, including names like Garcetti, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Governors. Terry McAuliffe (D-CA) John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
Asked to react to the news of Garcetti’s potential 2020 run, Dan Pfeiffer, who served as the White House communications director under President Barack Obama told the Times, “I don’t think it’s crazy at all. The traditional definitions of electability have been turned on their heads. The skills that get someone through a presidential campaign are no longer résumé-based. Obama had served two years in the Senate when he started running for president.”
Taking a slightly different perspective, Mike Murphy, a Republican adviser to the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain of Arizona and Jeb Bush, reportedly said, “It’s audacious, but it’s not insane. He’s good on his feet. Generational. He’s got a story: West Coast, the future.”
The popular Garcetti only has one small problem: a very thin record of achievements.