Barely anybody showed up to vote in the first round of the Los Angeles mayor`s race last week, but the leader was men`s clothier heir Eric Garcetti, the least casually dressed Southern Californian since George S. Patton. (The candidate is the son of the D.A. who botched the O.J. prosecution, Gil Garcetti. Eric`s education: UCLA Lab School, Harvard-Westlake, Columbia U., Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and London School of Economics). For complicated dynastic reasons that I can`t quite keep straight in my head, the aristocratic Garcetti insists that he is the Mexican candidate in the race.
Lately, it seems like the best career gimmick is to be a white guy with some sort of claim on being Hispanic. (Okay, the best of all is to be a super-WASPy black like the President, but that seems rarer to pull off.) In 2013, you don`t even have to be Spanish-surnamed. An Italian one like Garcetti or Bergoglio will do just fine.