Antonio Villaraigosa Reflects on Mayoral Term but Doesn't Want to Look Back

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Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM
click to enlarge A reflective Antonio Villaraigosa
  • A reflective Antonio Villaraigosa

Antonio Villaraigosa is vacationing in Martha's Vineyard, where he may or may not be reflecting on his career in public office. In an exit interview posted today on the L.A. Times' website, the former mayor was hazy on that point, and on most others.

"I definitely want to reflect on the last 20 years," Villaraigosa said, when asked what he'll be doing after leaving City Hall.

But only a few minutes later, he said that once out of office, "I am not looking back."

This is what happens when you can't keep your banalities straight. Sometimes you get tripped up.

The mayor was no less foggy about what else he plans to do with himself now that he's out of a job.

"I'm not thinking specifically about anything right now," Villaraigosa said, and that might have been the most candid answer in the entire interview.

Much of the discussion centered on his hypothetical future run for governor. This is something he professes to not like being asked about, until people stop asking, which forces him to bring it up unprompted.

Villaraigosa clearly has no particular platform to campaign on. That's fine, because assuming Jerry Brown stays healthy, the next opportunity to run for governor won't come until 2018, by which time the issues will have changed.

With little else going on in the meantime, Villaraigosa is doing at least a little reflecting on his tenure as mayor, though it's not the deepest sort.

"I think I've learned a lot in this job," he said. "What I've learned primarily is that you've gotta do what's right, or what you think is right, and you gotta make tough decisions, and you gotta be willing to take on your friends when you disagree."

The last point is undoubtedly true, but it's not something he's learned as mayor. Before he even entered office, Villaraigosa frequently said, "I will be a mayor who will say no to my friends." Sometimes he lived up to that ambition,  other times he fell short. But it's not a new line.

Nowadays his friends tend to be on Wall Street, so presumably he will be taking them on as soon as he gets himself appointed to a few corporate boards.

"I take stupid on wherever it exists," Villaraigosa said.

Never a shortage of that.

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