Garcetti Plays Up Ties to Obama

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), who is mulling a presidential bid in 2020, played up his ties to former President Barack Obama in a GQ profile:

He’s turned down other opportunities to leave Los Angeles. Eight years ago, President Obama invited him to the Oval Office and offered him a job. Garcetti had supported Obama’s Senate run and was an early backer of his presidential campaign. (When he read The Audacity of Hope, he said, “I felt like it was my own brain talking.”) Now Obama was the leader of the free world and was looking to make Garcetti, then president of the L.A. City Council, a very powerful man in his own right. “He was trying to convince me to come work for him, to be his urban czar,” Garcetti told me as we merged onto the 110 freeway. “He said I could oversee HUD and HHS and Education and transportation. It would have been an amazing opportunity.”

The problem was, Garcetti had another plan—he wanted to be mayor of Los Angeles. That’s when Obama offered up what Garcetti said was perhaps the best advice of his life.

“If that’s where your heart is,” he recalled the president saying, “do it.”

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