Villaraigosa for Transportation Secretary

The LA Daily News reports on rumors that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa might be heading to Washington DC, perhaps next year when he's termed out office, to take a Cabinet post.

Don't scoff.

Yes, the mayor is less than highly popular in his city. But if President Obama wins re-election, the mayor would be a natural for the cabinet -- particularly the transportation secretary post.

Even Villaraigosa's critics concede that his transportation plans -- particularly his 30-10 plan to accelerate the building of rail projects under Measure R -- make sense. The mayor's made progress in winning support for the plan, but he hasn't closed the deal. Perhaps a Washington post would help him deliver a full rail system for LA -- on an accelerated time schedule.

And Washington is a natural for Villaraigosa because there isn't a natural place for a Los Angeles mayor to go. No LA mayor has ever been elected governor, and that's unlikely to change, with younger Democrats such as Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris winning more support from the party rank-and-file. And while a U.S. Senate seat might be tempting, it's unclear when Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer will retire -- if they ever do.

Of course, Obama has to win first. That won't be easy. But Villaraigosa, who is chairing the Democratic convention this summer, will be in the fight to make that happen.

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