While he certainly still has his supporters among the Democratic Party establishment, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) is nonetheless widely viewed by many on both the right and the left as an abject failure in terms of his leadership of the largest city in California.
That generalized perception of failure has apparently been rewarded with what is, in essence, a sort of promotion, as Garcetti was just nominated this week to be President Joe Biden’s ambassador to India, Breitbart reported.
If confirmed to the coveted ambassadorship position by the U.S. Senate, Garcetti would be compelled to resign his position as mayor, prematurely ending his second term in office, which was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2022.
Nominated for an ambassadorship
The White House announced Friday four separate ambassadorial nominations put forward by President Biden, which included the pick of Mayor Garcetti to represent America and the Biden administration in India.
The official announcement played up Garcetti’s prestigious education credentials and purported experience gained by managing all of the different and consequential aspects of the major city while also highlighting his commitment to combating climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, while the positive spin from the White House surrounding Garcetti was predictable, it doesn’t necessarily match the reality on the ground in the once-beautiful metropolis of L.A., as Breitbart noted.
Los Angeles has many problems
If confirmed, the mayor would essentially be abandoning a city in crisis that is facing many serious problems — problems that Garcetti has vowed to address but has seemingly either ignored or made worse through his own policies and actions.
There is a massive homelessness problem in L.A. that Garcetti promised to solve but has only exacerbated. There is also the concerning spike in violent crime, which the mayor has loudly condemned even as he is responsible for defunding the Los Angeles Police Department of 10% of its budget, and putting in place soft-on-crime policies the generally preclude effective policing.
That’s not to mention the economic devastation wrought on the once-booming tourist destination by Garcetti’s heavy-handed authoritarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he imposed draconian lockdown orders and business restrictions that have economically strangled the city.
So along, Eric
The Los Angeles Times reported on Mayor Garcetti’s nomination and, somewhat surprisingly, seemed to confirm the widely held, dim view that many Angelenos hold in his regard by raising many of the same criticisms highlighted by Breitbart.
Garcetti has managed to disappoint residents and activists alike with his mishandling of the homelessness crisis, rising crime, instances of police brutality, and the pandemic, among other issues. Adding to that list, he is also currently enveloped in a cloud of scandal regarding allegations of sexual harassment that occurred in the mayor’s office but were covered up or ignored.
If Garcetti is confirmed for the coveted ambassadorship, odds are good that most Angelenos, regardless of political affiliation, won’t be particularly sorry to see him go. Should that be the case, it will fall upon the L.A. City Council to appoint an interim mayor to serve out the remainder of his term until voters have the chance to elect a replacement next year.