Ace Smith observed, again

Ace SmithFor a campaign strategist, does Ace Smith get a lot of coverage or what? In the LAT over the weekend, the consultant for Antonio Villaraigosa's mayoral campaign — and before that for Steve Soboroff's — is profiled by Robin Abcarian as a key factor for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. Smith, of course, has his fans and detractors in the piece:

Chris Lehane, friend and Democratic strategist: "Ace is a Michael Corleone."

Ben Austin, Democratic consultant: "He is one of the few balding, bespectacled guys who I wouldn't want to run into in a dark alley."

Kam Kuwata, who managed Jim Hahn's campaigns: "It's admirable if you can lie and get away with it."

Ken Khachigian, Republican strategist: "He'll be relentless and tough. He fits right in with the Clinton war machine."

Soboroff: "Ace is very mischievous, in a dark way."

Soboroff recalls that Smith once promised a scoop to a reporter who had annoyed him, inviting the scribe to a meeting. But when the reporter arrived, Smith closed an elevator door in the journalist's face and said "Oh no, it's too late." The story weirdly calls the Fleishman-Hillard scandal that the Times covered extensively during the last Villaraigosa-Hahn match "a minor billing scandal in the DWP." Its effect on the race was parsed a bit more in a profile of Smith last year in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Photo: Karen Tam / For the L.A. Times

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Politics stories on LA Observed:
David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
Tronc buys (NY) Daily News, La Tuna fire aftermath and more
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Garcetti has weekend date in the Hamptons
Garcetti hitting the road to New Hampshire
LA Confederate monument coming down
LA Observed Notes: Back from vacation and into the fray
Rendon fights for neglected Southeast


LA Observed on Twitter