Los Angeles City Council president Eric Garcetti is a perennial favorite. Councilwoman Jan Perry is rumored to be throwing her hat in the ring. And mall developer and former police commission member Rick Caruso says he's also leaning toward a run to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when he leaves City Hall in 2013.

Now DWP manager, mayoral deputy, and city “job czar” Austin Beutner has been “making the rounds” like “a wannabe politician looking to build a base,” reports the Daily News' dean-of-City-Hall Rick Orlov.

That might explain Beutner's rise from City Hall no-name to the man who's everywhere. Our first reaction upon hearing that he would be a deputy mayor, then a job czar, then a DWP chief, was who the heck is this guy, and where did he come from?

Few have seized the reigns of City Hall power so quickly without having been at a least a household name among political wonks. The Daily News editorialized that his appointment to head the DWP “raises serious questions about his qualifications.”

As we pointed out, Beutner's last claim to fame was as a board boss at American Media, home of the National Enquirer, the paper that brought down John Edwards and held its fire against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He's an unusual choice to groom for mayor if you ask us.

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