Maybe the mayor has been reading all our bitching and moaning about how he's been completely offline and unplugged when it comes to the city's needs lately. We were flabbergasted when he told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend that “”I'm at a great place …” as a result of a diet, exercise, yoga and good relationship. Meanwhile, we noted the city was facing a projected $400 million deficit and a network of neighborhood councils had gone into crisis mode when the mayor had not.

We also lambasted him for taking off to Europe (also as this deficit loomed, medical marijuana shops were out of control, and the city was struggling to hire enough cops) last month on a taxpayer-funded, $120,000 trip. So we were surprised to learn today that the mayor has canceled his Wednesday trek to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

He blamed this week's storms. The mayor took some heat for being out of town during the May Day rally of 2007 in which police mowed over innocents and journalists in MacArthur Park. He remained out of town the next day as well. He's been dinged for being an absentee mayor at other points in L.A.'s recent history. Maybe he's learned a lesson.

But he best reason to stay in town, however, is not crisis management. It's to run the city, period. L.A. needs a leader like a dog needs water: Each and every day.

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