With all due respect to the groundhog, it was voters who came out Tuesday and saw their city's shadow, guaranteeing 11 more weeks of campaigning. That's no cause for celebration in a Los Angeles weary of shallow debate answers and silly campaign mailers.
Not that this campaign season has been shallower or sillier than most, but it certainly has been uninspiring. The candidates, by and large, were unimaginative; all too often they pandered or ducked the tough issues. Is that how it's going to be between now and May 21 in the runoffs?
It need not be. The March 5 primary was round one, and no doubt the finalists are already returning to their donors to hit them up for round two. The contributions and the commercials will keep coming. And that's fine, as far as it goes. The real hard work, however, will fall not to donors or consultants or candidates but to voters. Focused now on the election, they can, if they choose to, home in on the issues that have been batted around for several weeks, and can demand that candidates grapple more seriously with their plans and promises.
The candidates themselves have brought inadequate leadership to the campaign, but voters can set their agendas. They can demand that candidates find their inner leaders. You're going to balance the budget? You're going to retain and expand city services? That's great. How? How will choices be swifter or smarter with you in place than they have been up to this point?