Villaraigosa Honors Swami X; Blows Off Officially Running for Gov
Updated June 23. See below
June 22, 2009. Venice--
We should have known yesterday, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented Boardwalk legend Swami X with a city proclamation honoring the sidewalk poet, that something was changing in the career of Los Angeles' most avid serial campaigner.
Since his second campaign for mayor, the one that landed him in office, Villaraigosa has stayed so far away from the counter culture you'd think the far left had herpes. And yet, there he was in its bastion, in an event thrown by Venice's collectively run newspaper--the Beachhead--at a building set aside for poets!
And today comes the news, via his announcement on CNN that he won't run for the governator position. Evidently, according to LA Observed (www.laobserved.com), he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer "I can't leave this city in the middle of a crisis."
Many congratulations to the Beachhead for luring Antonio west of Lincoln. The bad news? Now we could be stuck with him.
Given that the Mayor chose to make his announcement on national versus local television, it's pretty clear where Villaraigosa's loyalties lie. That, and, he might have received some tough questioning about the city's current crisis--like why did he not gestate any economy for the city other than real estate and development. Thus leaving the City of LA with little when the real estate market tanked.
UPDATE-June 23, 2009
At least two people attending the event told us that Villaraigosa said his involvement was initiated by memories that he had of Swami X back in the days the mayor attended UCLA and saw Swami X on the boardwalk.
'His presence appeared to be genuine' was the supposition of both of our friends. But you look at that compared to announcing you won't run for gov because your city is in crisis but bypassing local media to make a national appearance about it, and it's hard not to remain overwhelmingly cynical of the man.