The adoring crowd, a beaming Antonio Villaraigosa, a message of inclusiveness and leadership -- the image could have been from four years ago, when Villaraigosa's campaign for mayor energized much of Los Angeles.
But this time, Villaraigosa also got the more votes than the other guy, and then some, scoring an astounding 59 percent, to make incumbent James K. Hahn a one-term mayor.
Under a clear night sky, framed against a canopy of downtown skyscrapers, Villaraigosa projected energy and hope amid cheers that drowned out question marks and rumblings of unease in his very different, second-time run for mayor.
I check in periodically with David Tokofsky, who has represented the Eastside on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) since 1995, just to find out how long it takes to stop being considered an outsider.
For a Jewish boy on the Eastside, the answer is: more than two terms. Even now, despite winning two elections, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) has made him the target of redistricting, to insure that the next time out, someone with a Latino surname gets the job.
It was a great idea: a restaurant gathering at Tomayo's, an East Los Angeles eatery known for its vibrant Latino cultural life, hosted by Israel's consul general in Los Angeles, that would unite Los Angeles' Jews and Latinos.