Mayor by photo op? *

It's customary for major candidates in L.A. to face the media and take questions the day after an election. Jim Hahn did, showing up at his Wilshire Boulevard headquarters at noon despite becoming the first mayor since the Depression to be ousted after one term. He talked about his accomplishments, wished Antonio Villaraigosa the best, and answered a half-dozen questions in a light-hearted way. Things were a bit more controlled at Villaraigosa's unveiling, leaving the media rolling their eyes and muttering about being used. With at least a dozen TV cameras and maybe two dozen reporters looking on at an Urban League training center on Crenshaw, the mayor-elect first posed with trainees and reported that he met this morning with Chief Bratton: "I welcomed him to our team...we agreed to regular and frequent meetings." Villaraigosa again praised Hahn, saying "we share a love for the city...I congratulate him for the work he has done for this city."

But instead of opening it up to whatever the reporters wanted to ask, Villaraigosa surprised everyone by consulting a list and calling on selected reporters, one by one, like a pop quiz in a classroom. The chosen reporters were put on the spot, not knowing their names would come up. The first, John North of Channel 7, didn't answer since he was busy on the phone. (He later took his turn, and remarked afterward, "I had no clue it was coming.") The results, of course, were softball questions and no followups, but Villaraigosa looked on camera like he was meeting the press. Then he left. For the record, those hand-picked by Villaraigosa were, in order, North, Rick Orlov of the Daily News, Mark Coogan of Channels 2 and 9, Noam Levey of the Times, a Spanish-language TV reporter whose name I didn't catch, Jazmin Ortega of La Opinión, John Broder of the New York Times and a Los Angeles Sentinel reporter (Sentinel publisher Danny Bakewell had joined Villaraigosa on stage at last night's victory party.)

Day-after notes: Villaraigosa's name still stymies some supporters. Introducing the winner this morning, retired Urban League head John Mack kept calling him Villa-gee-rosa...Villaraigosa's victory was so thorough he won every area of the city except Hahn's home base in San Pedro and the far west Valley, based on a quick scan of results. He won among whites, blacks and Latinos, while Hahn won among Asian Americans [update]...Campaign manager Ace Smith said the often-maligned SurveyUSA robo-poll method used by KABC called it closer than any other. He credits the poll including cell phones in its random dailing, and says he'll use Survey USA in the future [ * He might want to think again: Jay Leve, editor at SurveyUSA, emails that they "take every possible precaution not to dial cell phones...There are all kinds of logistic and financial considerations to interviewing someone on a cell phone (such as: the respondent may be simultaneously trying to drive a car, and/or paying to receive the call)"]...At the Times blog, more names have checked in: analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Tu Ciudad editor Oscar Garza, activist Ellen Stern Harris, former mayoral candidate Mike Woo, progressive leader Peter Dreier. Sunday Opinion editor Bob Sipchen perhaps carries the self-reverential de-intellectualizing of the section's tone a bit far onto T.J. Simers' turf, quipping on the blog about the comments function not working: "We're not sure who to blame, but if you have to blame somebody, blame deputy editor Gary Spiecker. You can also blame Spiecker for all the comics in Sunday Opinion. And for Joel Stein." (The Times blog is now open for comments.)

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