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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo: Marcus Yam/Pool/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Biden is considering naming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to a high-profile ambassadorship, possibly India, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The potential exit of the Democratic executive for the nation's second-largest city would come as L.A. faces record homelessness and a court order to find shelter for a massive Skid Row population by the end of September. It could further destabilize California politics amid a recall attempt against Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat.

The big picture: Garcetti was a co-chair of Biden's campaign and remains a key political ally. India, with 1.4 billion people, is the world's most populous democracy — giving its political and economic future outsized stakes.

  • The Biden administration has signaled India will play a key role in helping to counter China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • In March, the president held his first virtual leader's summit with members of the so-called Quad, including Japan, India, Australia and the United States, to underscore his commitment to the region's democracies.
  • India is currently in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 20 million cases, and the true death toll is believed to greatly exceed an official count of 220,000+.

Details: Garcetti, 50, is one of several candidates under consideration for the India posting, a person familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

  • While lists of potential ambassadors were first presented to Biden in March, the sources said many final decisions have not been made.
  • The president is expected to announce his first political nominations for ambassadorships this month, rewarding donors and political allies who are not career Foreign Services Officers.
  • When Biden does release his picks, it will be a roadmap to the true players in his orbit.

Flashback: Garcetti mulled running for president himself. He passed and then announced in December he also would not be joining the Biden administration.

  • "As the administration reached out to me about serving, I let them know early this week that my city needs me now, and then I want to be here and that I need to be here," he said during a news conference.
  • Garcetti won reelection in March of 2017 for a five-and-a-half year term. He is term-limited, and the election for his successor is scheduled for Fall 2022.
  • Garcetti's Cabinet prospects faded with the attention brought by a sexual harassment lawsuit against one of his former aides, Rick Jacobs, brought by a longtime bodyguard, Matthew Garza.
  • The allegations received more attention after journalist Yashar Ali reported about his own experience of being repeatedly forcibly kissed by Jacobs when Ali was working in California politics. Ali also reported that Garcetti was aware of other potential misconduct by Jacobs.
  • After the election in November, Black Lives Matter demonstrators protested outside his house, demanding Biden not give him an appointment.
  • A Garcetti spokesman declined to comment.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more details about allegations against a former Garcetti aide.

Go deeper

Aug 2, 2021 - World

White House hosting first-of-its-kind global summit on COVID-19

President Biden waves a mask during remarks last week about the nation's COVID-19 vaccination effort. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning a first-of-its-kind, global leader-level summit focused on ending the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future pandemics, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: The summit is meant to rally the international community to step up its pledges for vaccine distribution and public health resources as the Delta variant surges. It will be held virtually during next month's U.N. General Assembly.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case in cruise ship COVID outbreak — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy.
  4. World: U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 1 hour ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all private companies.

Why it matters: De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the "first-in-the-nation measure" will go into effect starting Dec. 27. It will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses.