New Biden Chief of Staff Jeff Zients May Have Influence on the Eric Garcetti Ambassador Re-Nomination

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of


What is former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti up to these days?


Allegedly, he’s offering to help residents of Hancock Park with deflated tires.

This past week, Garcetti was at his alma mater, Columbia University.

Garcetti spoke to student leaders at the Center on Global Energy and Policy, touting a record he does not have. Garcetti gave advice <insert *eyeroll* emoji> on how mayors and cities can continue to lead on climate change (while failing at everything else, obviously).


Garcetti was termed out as Mayor of Los Angeles in November, and with his higher office ambitions thwarted and stalled, he is currently in limbo, as RedState documented here. As one of the most inept and corrupt mayors on the planet, Garcetti has remained fiercely loyal to the Democrat Party and the Biden Administration, but despite vocal expressions of support from the administration, he keeps getting passed over for big prizes. Small potatoes South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg beat him out for Secretary of Transportation, and Garcetti’s first nomination for the Indian ambassadorship was run off the rails by his own tainted associations.

Could new Biden Chief of Staff Jeff Zients be the key to salvaging Garcetti’s political career?

RedState reported back in September about the shakeup of the executive staff in the Biden administration, with former COVID-19 and Obamacare Czar Jeff Zients’ name being floated as the person to take over for then-Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Lo and behold, Zients was tapped and has already begun taking the reins from Klain, with another curious announcement made about the fate of the embattled ex-Mayor.

In a move that could be seen as equal parts futile and cruel, the Biden Administration has announced that it plans to re-nominate former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the Ambassadorship to India.

The administration said they have confidence in Garcetti and he will be an “excellent representative to India…” Currently, Charges d’Affaire Elizabeth Jones – a career foreign service officer – is the United States top diplomat in India.

But the chance Garcetti actually gets the opportunity to prove his excellence in India remains unlikely as essentially the same Senators who fled in terror from the Garcetti “bandwagon” are still in the Senate post November’s mid-term elections.


From Friday’s Politico Playbook:

It’s been 567 days since President JOE BIDEN announced his nomination of ERIC GARCETTI to become U.S. ambassador to India. And it remains entirely unclear how much longer he will wait.

Garcetti was poised to become the first Los Angeles mayor to voluntarily relinquish that gig in over a century. On the day his nomination went public — July 9, 2021 — he spoke wistfully about building a life of service in his hometown. He also talked broadly about his commitment to service, including as a teacher, naval officer, and finally, elected official.

“Part of that commitment means that when your nation calls,” Garcetti said, “you answer that call.”

Garcetti, though, is still waiting on several U.S. senators to answer that call, too. Some are still smarting over Garcetti denying he knew about sexual assault and harrasment allegations leveled against his close adviser, RICK JACOBS, before they went public.

“I’ve had concerns,” Sen. MARK KELLY (D-Ariz.) told West Wing Playbook, noting that while he hasn’t evaluated Garcetti’s nomination in a while, “I don’t think anything’s changed.”

Supposedly, Garcetti is confident in the Biden administration’s support. But does this look like full-throated backing to you?


Politico wrote that Zients was close friends with former Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs when Zients served in the Obama administration. And according to one of Politico’s close sources, it was reported that Jacobs stayed with the Zients family when he visited Washington.

A White House aide confirmed that Zients and Jacobs know each other and that Zients saw him occasionally over the years. The aide said Zients was not aware of the allegations before they were aired publicly.

Garcetti was also deeply in bed with the Obama administration and no doubt also had ties with Zients. This could be the ally Garcetti needs to keep himself alive in this administration.

But as RedState has continually pointed out, Garcetti still needs to get past the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Despite the fact that the FRC chairmanship has changed over to Democrat hands (New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is now chair), former chairman Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who oversaw the first nomination process, is still opposed to Garcetti’s re-nomination.

Republicans don’t plan to make the already excruciating Garcetti nomination process any easier. Sen. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-Iowa), who published a staff review of the allegations, still plans to object to any expedited process for Garcetti’s nomination, according to his spokesperson GEORGE HARTMANN. That pretty much guarantees Garcetti has to go back through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It’s not clear yet what that process would look like given the Senate still hasn’t finalized its panels.


Garcetti assumed his loyalty and ties to the Biden White House would ensure a cabinet position, and he was disappointed. Garcetti thought he was a shoo-in for ambassador to India, and his nomination was slow walked, then blocked.

Third times a charm? Perhaps with Zients now pulling strings in the Biden White House, this may be the grease Garcetti needs to move the wheels.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos