Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti could have been a contender – for vice president of the United States.

Garcetti, who will travel to Las Vegas Wednesday to be in the audience at the final presidential debate, was on a preliminary list of 39 possible VP picks offered up in a previously secret memo to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by her campaign chairman.

The revelation came amid a flood of internal campaign emails made public by WikiLeaks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Clinton eventually chose Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate.

While Garcetti will attend the debate between Clinton and GOP candidate Donald Trump as a supporter of Hillary, the mayor and former secretary of state have had a little bit of a rocky past.

Garcetti’s mayoral office last November issued a written statement endorsing Clinton, but an hour later issued a second news release saying the endorsement had been sent in error. Turns out the mayor’s office said the error was making the endorsement using government resources of the mayor’s public office.

Other leaked emails showed a mayor’s aide telling the Clinton campaign Garcetti objected to an initial meeting between the two being scheduled for a fundraiser. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta wrote that he was “pretty cold” to the mayor’s aide and said maybe a meeting could be scheduled “for some time in the future.”

Another Clinton worker was quoted in an email as saying about Garcetti, “He’s a tough one for us. Never really had a relationship. So he bailed?”

The first time Garcetti’s name came up in a Clinton campaign email in the WikiLeaks release was in 2008 when Podesta asked in a possibly politically incorrect way, “Did we figure out whether he is Italian or Latino?”

An answer came back: “Eric Garcetti is a 4th generation Angelino descendant of Mexican immigrants … but again … they don’t consider him Hispanic.”

But presumably all will be cordial at Wednesday night’s presidential debate, as the mayor will fly to Las Vegas and return after the evening debate without staying overnight, according to the mayor’s campaign consultant, Bill Carrick.

Garcetti has two public events in Los Angeles Wednesday morning. According to the mayor’s office, Garcetti will not be spending the night in Las Vegas, but instead plans to return to Los Angeles Wednesday night.

The debate may be particularly contentious as Trump has tried to fight off accusations of sexual misconduct while Clinton has come under fire for internal, heretofore private campaign emails released by WikiLeaks that show a darker side of her supporters.

Democrat Garcetti won’t be a disinterested bystander, but it’s not expected that he will take any public role during the nationally televised 90-minute debate.

—City News Service

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