Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bill Clinton stumps for Wendy Greuel at iconic LA deli (updated)

Bill Clinton

Alice Walton/KPCC

Bill Clinton and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel participated in a town hall Saturday at Langer's deli in Westlake. The former president had previously endorsed Greuel's mayoral campaign.

Former president Bill Clinton came to Los Angeles Saturday to make a public show of support for mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

Appearing at Langer’s deli in the Westlake neighborhood, Clinton praised Greuel’s work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. He also referenced her work with the LA’s BEST after-school program.

“One of the things you need to do is to go out and tell people that the mayor’s job is a job that makes a big difference in their lives and we can’t tolerate, in this condition of the economy, the kind of low turnout you always have in these mayors’ races,” Clinton said.

In the March 5 primary, just 21 percent of L.A.’s registered voters completed a ballot.

In order for Greuel to win the May 21 runoff against Councilman Eric Garcetti, she needs to show voters her true self, Clinton said.

“I think if every voter in Los Angeles saw her the way I do, and the way people who know her well do, she would win,” Clinton said. “You want somebody who has been through several incarnations, different kinds of jobs, and hit it out of the park every time she had a job by getting something done that changed somebody else’s life.”

Greuel worked for the federal government under the Clinton Administration beginning in 1993, after she left the office of Mayor Tom Bradley. She later did government relations for DreamWorks Studios.

The deli was packed with Greuel supporters, including U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters and Janice Hahn, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Councilman José Huizar, former Councilwoman Roz Wyman, former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and grassroots activist Sweet Alice Harris.

Earlier this month, President Obama’s spokesman announced he would not make an endorsement in the L.A. mayor’s race. Eric Garcetti was an early Obama supporter and has frequently appeared at White House events with the president.   

Updated: A spokesman for the Garcetti campaign released this statement on the Clinton event: "Bill Clinton has been a constant refrain in Greuel's campaign, so today's event event was no surprise.  In fact, the DWP union has used Clinton in over $1 million worth of TV ads for Greuel in the primary."

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