New York City Mayor John Lindsey was quite the character back in the day. Lindsey was Republican from the time he was involved in Youth For Eisenhower back in the early 50’s and he met his wife at a Bush wedding. Despite these roots, he gave it all up in 1971, and registered with the Democratic Party and ran for president. Lindsay said, “In a sense, this step recognizes the failure of 20 years in progressive Republican politics. In another sense, it represents the renewed decision to fight for new national leadership.” “Progressive Republican politics” is the oxymoron of this or any other century, make a note of it. Be that as it may, Lindsay did quite well as a born again Democrat or renegade Republican, take your pick. He ran on the premise that being Mayor of New York City was like being in charge of a small country. His tag line was, “He is fresh and everyone else is tired.” Taking up a similar mantle and considering a run for the Democratic nomination is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Atlantic:
Garcetti would try to sell voters on his cosmopolitan, sunny-California vision of the future, and frame himself as a Barack Obama–esque figure who represents America’s identity as a nation of immigrants. Half-Jewish and half-Mexican (the Mexican side of his family goes back to Italy), Garcetti is a fluent Spanish speaker, a Rhodes scholar, and a Navy intelligence reservist. He loves making political jabs rooted in word play, such as “There are two Americas: Washington and the rest of us.” Or there’s the one he tried out while campaigning in the midterms, describing how Donald Trump practices the politics of division and subtraction, but how he likes the politics of addition and multiplication.
The core of his argument for running, though, would be his experience as mayor. He’s already road tested his case that Los Angeles is bigger and more complicated than most states, with more people from more places doing more things, creating more problems and, conversely, more solutions. He’d come to the White House, the argument goes, with a view of government not as part of an abstract partisan debate, but as something that actually has an impact on people’s lives day to day. […]
“Anybody who’s done the job—that’s the wrong question. This is like a mini country,” the mayor told me in an interview. Standing by his car, he was headed to his next event after a groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing project in the Sun Valley neighborhood, part of the citywide response to its homelessness crisis. Garcetti argued that given Los Angeles’s size, getting from one end of the city to the other can be like traveling between disparate states. “It takes me as long as a flight, probably,” he said.
Garcetti’s not the only mayor who seems to be harkening to the shade of John Lindsey. Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana is purportly considering a run. He announced recently that he would not be running for reelection and it was speculated that that might be because he was contemplating a presidential run. Then there’s former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who did a total Lindsey and converted to the Democratic party a few months ago. The majority of Democrats were underwhelmed and words like “carpetbagger” rang through the air. Then we have Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans, who possibly is considering a run. One thing is for certain — there will be no shortage of hats in the ring. And give Eric Garcetti credit — at least he’s not a turncoat Republican, he’s the real thing, Democrat all the way.