When I asked the soon to be ex-Mayor for a moment of his time, he came over and put his arm around me, and looked at the camera and talked about how Los Angeles is ‘' still dreaming'' , how this is the ‘‘Pacific Century''... that arm thing was what endeared him to many, and also what alienated others. He was friendly smiling and open...hard working and dedicated to making Los Angeles better... He was egotistical , power hungry, fake, and spread to thin, others would say. Probably a lot of both of those things make up Antonio Villaraigosa.
Yet as we spent a few minutes together on his ‘‘thank you tour'' at the iconic Pinks in Hollywood ( where you can get a Mayor dog with jalapeno for $ 6.95) he was thinking that the best of LA is still ahead of us, that he's charted a strong course in terms of advances in transportation , improvements in education, and reduction in crime.
Even his critics would have to agree we're better off in those areas than we were 8 years ago. Villaraigosa felt that Mayor Elect Garcetti would easily transition into office and keep the positive momentum going. His style was ‘' hey look at me', whereas Garcetti's is anything but, but hey.. it seemed to work for him. No doubt we could've done without the divorce and girlfriend issues, the ticket taking scandal, but in the big picture of big city politics...yawn ??? Through it all he kept that big grin on his face and moved forward, with that attitude that said ‘‘hey.. I'm the Mayor... I know what I' m doing, leave me alone . " Okay. I mean if you look at his early life on paper, no way does he get where he's been. For that he is an inspiration to many.
As for his future, he's not really committing to anything , there are rumblings of various big time LA figures and companies he could work for, and he has reportedly confiding in some that he will run for Governor. The ego thing. Still.