I'm assuming there's no actual impetus for the story, other than a lazy sidebar to the symbolic performance Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been cast in for the Democratic convention later this summer. But Yahoo News writer David Chalian has put up a story headlined Is Antonio Villaraigosa poised to be America’s first Latino president? In the story, Villarigosa himself says no — but he does re-float the old idea that he would like to be governor of California. Not that he'd necessarily be viable as a statewide candidate.
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.
"I think I'm going to take a time out. I'll probably associate with a think tank or a university. I want to write. I want to read. I'll probably speak around the country. I certainly get enough invitations," he said of his immediate post-mayoral plans.
If Villaraigosa's people flacked this story, can they please just stop. Though I guess it would say something if they only venue they could convince to run such a story is Yahoo News.
About the photo: An oldie but goodie from 2007. Read the results of our reader caption contest back then — the meeting of Antonio Villaraigosa and Paris Hilton inspired some good ones. What he said and what she said: When media planets collide.