One’s been a social justice careerist; the other a commercial dynamo. Karen Bass and Rick Caruso are half-complete candidates – for Mayor of their own halves of LA
The two candidates for Mayor of the city of Los Angeles, we must acknowledge, are fully mature: Rick Caruso is 63 until January; Karen Bass turned 69 October 3rd. If these ages, presented to an LA whose median age is 35.9 years, tell you anything about our present city, it’s that to get to be a mayoral candidate, you can’t rely on youthful charm alone.
But even at this late point of the open seat race for hegemony of the world’s most polyglot city, I care less about this choice than you might think. As is yours, I’m sure, my enthusiasm for the LA that I have known these past 65 years is presently at its most diminished point ever. For, as with our past two presidential elections, one candidate represents a certain disaster, and the other an incalculable risk, neither one capable of delivering much to anentire city. No, each is presently only capable of being Mayor to half of it.
Karen Bass, a career agitator+legistator whose campaign consists of promising more of the same on nearly every failed policy that helped blight the blighted half of LA, is the certain disaster. But here is no clear-cut choice for taking the riskier proposition: Rick Caruso, the deeply-invested, home-grown mall developer is a man of many conflicting, nearly schizoid guiding principles – just the kind of schizoid guiding principles it takes to become a billionaire and a highly successful commercial developer – is an incalculable risk even for his own half of LA, the commercial half, for as many reasons as I can find telling disappointments in Bass’s past.
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