In the race for mayor of Los Angeles, Councilman Eric Garcetti doesn't have a record of accomplishment that stands out among the others, or better connections, or more popular positions, or more money (although he is personally pretty well off.) He also doesn't seem to be getting much bounce out of his partial Mexican heritage. One advantage he clearly enjoys, though, is that his years of blogging, posting on social media, pictures on bikes, reputation as a composer and chef, and occasional on-stage performing make him seem like the cool guy candidate.
That image may not help with many voters in numbers, but in a low-turnout race the image probably helps, especially among younger voters. Especially since the actual positions and lack of independence areso close between Garcetti and Wendy Greuel and to some degree Jan Perry, some voters might just go for who they consider the best, or coolest, face for the city. Remember the contrast drawn eight years ago between Jim Hahn, who seemed stand-offish as mayor, and Antonio Villaraigosa, who seemed like he would be a more outgoing LA ambassador. Just a couple of weeks ago, a local editor of the Huffington Post with apparently little politics savvy gushed that Garcetti was "the ultimate hipster candidate" with a "reputation as the candidate 'of the people.'" Even the Garcetti camp probably had a laugh over that.
Anyway, Garcetti's coolness advantage came into play last night, when he raised an estimated $250,000 at a fundraiser in Hollywood. Jimmy Kimmel emceed, Will Ferrell made an appearance by video, and Moby performed. About 1,000 attended at the Henry Fonda Theater, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and they saw their candidate go up on stage and tickle the keyboard alongside Moby. Garcetti also played some conga drum toward the end of the night.
From Tina Daunt at THR:
Thursday's crowd included such Hollywood insiders as Forrest Gump producer and New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch, the only man in history with an Oscar and a Super Bowl ring; Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins, who was the executive producer of the Fox comedy Arrested Development; CAA agent Jeremy Plager, whose long list of clients includes current best actress Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Sally Field; and CAA's Joel Lubin, who heads the agency's motion picture talent department.
Also on hand for the concert were Dixon Slingerland, executive director of the Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit agency providing education, technology, and training services to LA families in need; Diego Berdakin, president and co-founder of BeachMint, a Santa Monica start-up that operates e-commerce websites; and Chris Hopkins, senior vp brand management at Playboy.
During his remarks, Garcetti drew special attention to his 10-year role in cleaning up Hollywood's once-crime-ridden streets. But Moby, who recently left his native New York to live full time in the Hollywood Hills, urged Garcetti not to clean up the neighborhood too much. It's the grit and characters, the singer said, that make the area interesting. "Like the guy dressed as Spider-Man smoking crack on Selma," Moby quipped.
After the show, Garcetti mingled backstage and then retreated down two flights of stairs to the theater's dressing rooms, where Moby and members of his band had gathered for a small afterparty. Shortly before midnight, Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine, fresh from rehearsing for the Grammys, made a surprise visit to meet the candidate.
Also this: Garcetti posted his first TV ad today.
Garcetti playing with Moby: Marta Evry