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Fenty deflects questions on poll showing approval rating drop

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) on Monday deflected questions about a new Washington Post poll that showed his approval rating had slipped significantly in the last two years.

"I just haven't read it yet, so I am at a loss to be able to comment. But once I have I will be ready, willing and able to get you a statement," Fenty said.

The mayor did not respond directly when asked if he had read the Sunday edition of The Post, in which the poll results were detailed on the front page. Fenty instead repeated that he was waiting to see "the poll" as if there were other documents beyond the published account that he expected the paper to release.

"Usually, I try to read a poll before I comment on it," he said. Fenty declined to respond when assembled television and newspaper reporters began recounting specific findings. "I haven't read it at all."

Fenty was speaking in Annapolis after discussing shared crime prevention efforts with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

When asked about those efforts - and one of the poll results that showed the public still believes Fenty is doing a good job on crime prevention - he seemed familiar with that portion of the poll.

"I can't say enough about what the police department has done," Fenty said. "I think if we keep doing this kind of thing, focusing on deliverables, statistics and results the citizens will see even safer neighborhoods."

Meanwhile, Bill Lightfoot, chairman of Fenty's reelection campaign, put a positive spin on the poll that shows that the mayor's approval rating has significantly slipped to 42 percent from 72 percent in two years.

The dismal approval rating comes at the same time that residents say they are satisfied with city services. But most are not giving credit to Fenty.

Lightfoot said the poll clearly shows that the public likes the direction in which Fenty is taking the city. "They are troubled by the manner in which he has brought change," he said. "Change is hard."

Fenty's "dramatic change" in governance to improve services, particularly schools, has upset people, Lightfoot said. "You've got to break eggs when you make an omelet," he said.

And Fenty has a soft side, Lightfoot said, but people aren't seeing it. "The mayor is personable one-on-one. The pool can't test that. It's a perception problem," he said.

Asked if Fenty would retool to show that he's a nice guy, Lightfoot said, "He will not change his goals."

-- Aaron C. Davis and Nikita Stewart

By Anne Bartlett  |  February 1, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Next: Gray: Fenty administration has overspent by $200 million


when did former councilman william lightfoot become "bill"?

if you were to ask people what's the most dangerous part of this metro area and they will say DC and PG. nevermind, that both DC and PG are recording record low crime levels. Crime is down all over the nation. so Fenty is trying to take credit for a national trend of which no one can exacly point to th e cause for th drop i crime.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Of course he meant that he will comment after someone tells him what to say. He can't articulate that. To
Lightfoot's statement, "Change is hard. You've got to break eggs to make an omlet." That's very true. However, when you try to make an omlet using hard boiled eggs, that would suggest that you just don't get it and he just doesn't get it. You can't act above the law, you can't wage war against the city workforce and you can't hire incompetent people and "dress it up" as change.

Posted by: candycane1 | February 1, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't quite specific enough. Rhee, Santos, Nickles, Todman, the rejects that were the first named for PERB and the list goes on!!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | February 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Can someone start the byebye music please....? Fenty, your time is up. Yea you were in the pocket of the developers Donatelli et alia. Hope you had a fun party as mayor. Now get out.

Thug politicians like Fenty are keeping DC corrupt and far away from statehood. I'll give him an A+ for physical fitness and cycling. Good for you Adrian!

Posted by: FiatBooks | February 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

All together now, boys and girls . . .

What's the Fenty ("Boy who would be King") and Rhee ("I do what's in the best interest of children" [except when it involves alleged indiscretions perpetrated by my fiancé]) motto:

Deflect, Delay, Deny. Repeat.

Mr. Lightfoot, you say the implication (based on poll results) that people don't like fenty is due to a perception problem? Well, one's perception is one's reality. So, I guess that takes us back to the fact that people really don't like fenty. What else you got?

Posted by: schooletal | February 1, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"'You've got to break eggs when you make an omelet,' he said."

We don't have a problem with dramatic change. What we don't like is an ego maniac, petty mayor who hands out development contracts to his faternity brothers, seeks revenge for those who cross him and is adverse to transparency.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to talk to Fenty and ask him policy questions- he is a man of few words and little to no substance. He actualy comes across as unintelligent.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | February 1, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot

Thats why "Bill" thinks Fenty is a nice guy!

Posted by: gordonbundy | February 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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