When L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accepted chair duties at the Democratic National Convention, he probably didn't realize it would turn into an actual hot seat.
A few gavels here, a nice speech there and — boom — you have a new job in the Obama White House.
Not so fast:
On Wednesday night the mayor was the focus of controversy after he changed the Dems' platform, reportedly at the behest of President Obama, to once again reflect a support of everyone's “God-given potential” as well as to include the line “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”
The problem is …
… it's not clear an actual two-thirds of the delegates present, as required, endorsed the change. For his part, Villaraigosa implemented it like a U.S. Supreme Court deciding an election in favor of the GOP.
On the video, it sure doesn't sound like the move got two-thirds support. But, after three audible votes, Villaraigosa says:
In the opinion of the chair two-thirds have voted in the affirmative.
God, of course, is a controversial word for the ACLU's party. What about those who don't believe? And then there's Jerusalem. As the New York Times put it:
The restoration of Jerusalem puts the platform, a largely symbolic document, at odds with the official position of the government, which is that the city's status should be determined in a negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians.
It's a huge point for the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Both issues had been on the 2008 Democratic platform before being pulled out this year.
Obama expressed his dismay through an anonymous administration official.
This is what counted for high drama at the DNC so far. No chair-talking as yet.
For his part, Villaraigosa seemed to ignore calls for a roll-call vote. At least he's carrying water like a good Dem. That job should be coming through any day now.