'Los Angeles' rethinks 'Failure' cover: still not impressed

lamag-mav-failure.jpgEd Leibowitz wrote the 2009 cover story for Los Angeles Magazine that pronounced Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa mostly a failure at the end of his first term. The cover image went a long way toward turning the mayor's media treatment at the time. More recently Villaraigosa has been getting better press, especially away from home, but in his State of the City speech this week the mayor conceded some failures — though he blamed them on "swinging for the fences." On the Los Angeles Magazine website, Leibowitz picks up where Villaraigosa left off. Sample:

Recently I’ve been asked if I still stand by the [Failure] statement four years later. Aside from the strides that the mayor has made in promising that L.A. be coal-free by 2025, and lobbying for a congressional legislation that will accelerate public transit construction, I do stand by the assertion that this mayor’s legacy is one of so much promise yet so much disappointment. All things considered, the off-script remarks in his address last night could more appropriately have gone like this:

You fail sometimes … when you spend much of your eight years in office chasing photo ops around the world and doing whatever it takes to get your face in front of TV cameras, campaigning for your political future instead of governing your city.

You fail sometimes … when your smiling portrait greets travelers at LAX, presiding over domestic terminals whose shabbiness and disarray comprise the first impression thousands of tourists have of the city.

More at the magazine.

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