Eric Garcetti Still Hasn't Talked to Hillary Clinton, But Has Chatted with One of Her Rivals

Eric GarcettiEXPAND
Eric Garcetti
Photo by Ted Soqui

Soon after announcing her candidacy for president this spring, Hillary Clinton made a West Coast trip. In San Francisco, she met with Mayor Ed Lee at a teahouse to discuss homelessness. Then she traveled to L.A., where she attended a few fundraisers but did not meet with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Clinton was back in L.A. in August for another series of fundraisers, and again did not meet with Garcetti.

Garcetti has often touted his strong relationship with the Obama administration. As mayor, he often travels to Washington to seek favors such as money to house the homeless or support for revitalizing the L.A. River. Garcetti was an early Obama supporter, endorsing him when he was still an underdog in his race against Clinton. When Obama flies into LAX, Garcetti usually meets him on the tarmac.

But Garcetti's relationship with Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, is not so strong. Bill Clinton endorsed Garcetti's opponent in the 2013 mayor's race. Asked about the relationship at a press conference in April, Garcetti said that he and Bill Clinton are "all good," and noted that they had partnered on an environmental issue with the Clinton Global Initiative. Asked about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, Garcetti said, "We'll talk."

But the two still have not spoken since she announced her candidacy, according to Garcetti's office.

Garcetti has spoken, however, with one of her rivals. According to Garcetti's calendars, he had a 15-minute call with Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, on Aug. 5.

"They have a relationship and he was happy to talk with him," said Connie Llanos, the mayor's spokeswoman.

Thus far, O'Malley has been an afterthought in the national campaign. Clinton leads the Democratic field in national polls by double digits, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has enjoyed a surge of support. O'Malley typically clocks in around 1 to 2 percent.

Garcetti and O'Malley share a technocratic bent. Garcetti has tried to implement some statistical methods of tracking performance that were pioneered by O'Malley when he was mayor of Baltimore. And some of Garcetti's donors have already held gatherings for O'Malley.

Garcetti has not made any endorsements, and doesn't seem to be in any hurry. Llanos says he last spoke with John Podesta, the chair of Clinton's campaign, in January, before Clinton announced. She also said he "looks forward" to speaking with Clinton.

Clinton will be back in L.A. at the end of the month for more fundraisers, so perhaps he'll get a chance then.


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