Politicians just want to be loved.
That was one of the messages from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when he spoke this week with the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute, Raphael Sonenshein.
“Most of us who run for public office want to be loved and want to be popular, let’s be honest,” Villaraigosa said. “I’m over that, and that’s a strength.”
Villaraigosa ran through the tired list of things he wants to do after he leaves office – public speaking, quiet reflection – but made it clear he isn’t done with public life.
“It means that I probably want to come back in some permutation, I think you can guess that,” he said.
The mayor also spoke about getting in the good graces of President Barack Obama after campaigning around the country for Hillary Clinton.
“Maybe it’s because I’m from New Jersey, there’s a part of me that would always make somebody wait in the wilderness for a while,” Sonenshein said.
Villaraigosa told Sonenshein he is a fan of “the big tent.”
“You didn’t spend enough time in New Jersey,” Sonenshein replied.