First of two parts
Would that they were the lone candidates. Los Angeles would be facing easily the most intriguing leadership election in its 2¼-century history.
Alas, the two absent heavyweights received a mixed report card:
• Eric Garcetti, a City Councilman, was excused on the grounds of tardy notification and a simultaneous fundraiser in Hollywood.
• City Controller Wendy Greuel was not excused, said the organizers, who felt snubbed. Evidently, the former Councilwoman chose a campaign event in Northridge over Boyle Heights.
It would have been a more fascinating show if the presumed frontrunners, Mr. Garcetti and Ms. Greuel, had not blown off the debate because thjey would have been pressed closeto a wall.
Mr. James, arguably, emerged as the strongest debater with the weightiest and most penetrating solutions to the questions posed while also making a muscular case for his candidacy on his own.
Young Mr. Pleitez was at least close if not exactly even with Mr. James for the same reasons.
A hefty third was Mr. Alexander. Hard to take your eyes off of him. He hopes to be an old-fashioned candidate. He articulated provocative cures, a blend of common sense, progressive and traditional ideas – but who also, realistically, made a bid to fundraise to round up the $1,000 he needs to file in November to officially enter the race.
While the true reason is not known, Ms. Perry, the single giant in name recognition at the on-stage table, must have surveyed her relatively faceless competition and concluded this was a test she could ace without a second thought. The formula made her the fourth most effective speaker because of her facile, unreflected, sloughed-off answers.
(To be continued)