OK, you probably don’t know who the mayor of Los Angeles is. Not many do. But his name is Antonio Villaraigosa. Thanks to an embarrassing divorce (he cheated with local TV anchor) and non-stop political scandal during his brief tenure here, he’s become a laughingstock. (Think Kwame Kilpatrick.)
(Disgraced L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s burning dilemma)
Once a rising star in the Democratic party and a possible frontrunner for governor of California, he’s since become someone the party is trying to shoo out of sight. But despite Villaraigosa’s debacle of an administration, he continues to be a shameless media whore.
Take for instance last Monday night, which saw harrowing wildfires raging throughout northern Los Angeles, threatening property (19 homes were lost) and lives of local residents (two dead).
Meanwhile, the Dodgers played the Phillies 30 minutes away.
One guess where Villaraigosa ended up.
Around the fourth inning of the National League Championship Series Monday night, as the hills north of Los Angeles continued to burn, Fox cameras panned to the dignitaries sitting in the luxury seats.
With its usual host of celebrities and debutantes, the collection of upper crust was noteworthy for only one reason. Amongst the select crowd was Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who smiled as Derek Lowe was mowing down the Phillies; smiling as thousands in the San Fernando Valley were driven from their homes by two blazes that burned without care; smiling as thick smoke choked parts of four major freeways closed earlier in the day; smiling hours after 19 homes burned; smiling after two had died.
Just another of Villaraigosa’s innumberable misjudgements, which are fueled by his brazen ambition.
Here’s a photo of Villaraigosa from that night, from a local radio show website:
The hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Champiou, report that when Villaraigosa stood up to wave his rally towel, there was no reaction from fans (complete embarrassment). So Tommy Lasorda somehow wrenched himself out of his chairback to cover for the mayor by waving his towel too.
This is also the same mayor who has been booed at too many public appearances to count, including at a Latino-packed local pro soccer game.
Starting to see a pattern?
Thankfully, guys like Villaraigosa prove that a gigantic city can still operate (semi)normally with an overstuffed vacuum cleaner bag as mayor. Which also somewhat eases my mind when it comes to the Presidential election.