It’s easy to dismiss Villaraigosa’s likelihood of capturing the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, much less the presidency, due to his rocky (and public) personal life, lack of a developed national fundraising base and occasional conflicts with portions of his political base.
But recall that Bill Clinton made it to the Oval Office with the personal baggage of infidelity and Barack Obama became the first nonwhite candidate to achieve the highest office in the land—you can begin to see how Villaraigosa’s interest in a 2016 run may yet develop.
Villaraigosa’s term as mayor of Los Angeles is up July 1, 2013. He says he will spend his remaining time in office bolstering his accomplishments in crime reduction (a 40.6 percent drop in violent crime, 41 percent drop in homicides), the environment (doubled the Kyoto protocol required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, bringing them down to 14 percent of 1990 levels in seven years), education (reduced schools defined as “failing” according to state scores from 33 percent to 10 percent), and transportation (more on that later). Charlotte provides an opportunity to start road testing his brand beyond Los Angeles’ city limits.