Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don't run, Rick!

Rick Caruso, developer of The Grove, is considering running for Mayor of LA. In the midst of this incredibly interesting time in national politics, this caught my attention. I don't think it's a good idea. He would be running as a Republican against Antonio Villaraigosa. A Republican consultant asks the key question:

"Is the disappointment with Villaraigosa so widespread?"

My short answer would be "No," and my long answer be "No, and certainly not enough to vote for a Republican." Antonio is doing a solid job. He may not be the transformational Mayor we all want and sort of expect from him, but he hasn't made any major mistakes. The only blemish is the affair he had, but even that was relatively minor. He took responsibility for it, and it faded fairly quickly.

I'm not opposed to Caruso running for Mayor eventually. I like the idea of maintaining some ideological diversity in a city as big as LA. But given the disarray of the GOP and the disillusionment with Republicans on the part of the electorate, I think he would have a much better shot if he waits until Villaraigosa leaves office. Antonio will be term-limited out in 2013, but might leave before then if he gets picked to run something in an Obama administration or if he runs for Governor and wins (which is the strongest possibility).

What I like about Villaraigosa is that he's incredibly energetic, he's very optimistic and gung-ho, he's a consummate professional, and he's not afraid to take strong stands. He unequivocally opposes Proposition 8. He hires good people. Under an Obama administration, I think he could really flourish as Mayor of LA.

I don't know much about Caruso's positions, but from his public persona, I think he might - emphasis on might - make a good mayor of LA. He seems fairly innovative, he's a good manager, and he clearly sees opportunities where others don't. And he believes in delivering value for his customers, a good sign of a good capitalist. But I think his best bet is to wait until he current occupant has moved on.

No comments: