Second-term Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been nominated to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India, according to a White House announcement Friday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, he will resign his position as mayor of L.A.
Garcetti, who has been in office since 2013, would be leaving his city at a time of crisis and change. L.A. is suffering a rapid rise in homelessness, a problem Garcetti vowed to solve, but which has only become worse during his tenure.
Under Garcetti’s leadership, the city secured $1 billion from the Obama administration to rehabilitate portions of the Los Angeles River. The city also received $1.35 billion from President Joe Biden’s massive “COVID relief” stimulus law.
However, Garcetti has faced increasing criticism from residents due to the soaring crime rate, a problem that has grown in the year since he announced he was cutting up to $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department budget — more than 10% of the total. Though the city is now flush with cash from the federal government, and Garcetti’s “justice budget” aims to spend widely on progressive policy priorities, he is not using the new money to restore police funding.
Garcetti, who was a Rhodes Scholar and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, is also the city’s first elected Jewish mayor. Despite his pedigree, he often lacked the charisma and heft typical of big-city mayors elsewhere in the U.S.
He was often a font of fashionable “woke” thought. In 2020, when asked by Breitbart News to define “systemic racism,” he said it was “racism that is built into systems.” He also recently launched a commission to study reparations for slavery.
Garcetti was also prone to sentimentality and melodrama. In his 2020 “State of the City” address, he declared that L.A. was the “worst it’s ever been,” in deference to the media-driven mantra idea that leaders should reject President Donald Trump’s more optimistic, can-do tone on the coronavirus pandemic. In 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings won hockey’s Stanley Cup, Garcetti told the city’s victory celebration that it was a “big f*cking day,” provoking public criticism.
Garcetti had considered a presidential run in 2020, but relented, endorsing Joe Biden instead. Local Black Lives Matter activists, who have targeted him throughout his tenure, demanded last year that he not be given any Cabinet position.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.