09/02/2012 12:23 pm ET

Antonio Villaraigosa Boosts Standing With Stint As Chair Of The Democratic National Convention

When Antonio Villaraigosa said this summer that he would like someday to be governor of California, he acknowledged an ambition that appeared until recently to have slipped beyond his reach.

The mayor of Los Angeles, beleaguered by the weak economy, an extramarital affair and a series of shortcomings at City Hall, was re-elected by an underwhelming margin in 2009.

Los Angeles magazine put a photograph of him on its cover behind the headline, "Failure: So much promise, so much disappointment," and Villaraigosa sat out the gubernatorial race the following year.

In recent months, however, the former Assembly speaker has regained some of his old swagger. In Charlotte, N.C., this week to gavel in the Democratic National Convention as its chairman, Villaraigosa is now considered a potential candidate for an appointment in a second Obama administration.