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Where is Fenty?

For two days, the big news in the city has been all about Council Chairman Vincent Gray's entry into the mayor's race. But the man he is challenging in the September Democratic primary was noticeably absent from the conversation. Mayor Fenty did not hold public events on Monday or Tuesday, leaving no opportunity to seek comment on his rival, and his campaign issued a prepared statement.

Then last night, after the mass shootings on South Capitol Street, it was surprising not to see the mayor on the scene in his signature black pageboy cap, standing before the TV cameras with updates on the situation. Who could forget that Fenty was all over the news, holding multiple press conferences a day, during the series of snowstorms this winter.

So where was Fenty?

Fenty in Jamaica, courtesy Jamaica Observer
Fenty and his wife, Michelle Fenty (2nd left) with Optimists Gloria Walker (2nd right) and Gene Douglas at the 10th anniversary banquet of the Barbican Pines Optimist Club in Jamaica on Friday. (Photo by Joseph Wellington, courtesy of Jamaica Observer Limited)


All week, there has been rampant speculation among council members that the mayor is on spring break with his family, perhaps in Jamaica, getting a little rest and relaxation before he unveils his budget Thursday. But no one was saying. No word from his chief spokesperson early today or his unofficial spokesman, Attorney General Peter Nickles.

When asked Tuesday night if the mayor was in Jamaica, Nickles was vague and declined to answer further questions on the matter.

Turns out, Fenty was indeed in Jamaica, as first reported by the City Paper's Loose Lips, who dug up this article and photo from a Jamaican newspaper.

Fenty, who can be hard to follow even when he is in town, has repeatedly kept the public in the dark about his travel schedule, including a week-long trip to the United Arab Emirates with his family.

By Ann Marimow  |  March 31, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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Next: One day later, Fenty set to address shootings

Comments

Hopefully, he's in Jamaica looking for a job. The people hired him to run the city and he has a responsibiility to tell the public when he's vacationing. If he wants a private life, he should not run for public office. While the city has grown and prospered over the past decade, Fenty has done nothing to help bring affordable housing. All he looks after is himself.

Posted by: Brianguy | March 31, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Even for a gossipy blogue, this post has a snide, snarky tone to it. Try harder.

Posted by: axolotl | March 31, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I did pause when I saw Ramsey on camera versus Fenty.

It's spring break, so I don't hold it against him.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 31, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I think part of the issue is more that as a, no, sorry, the top elected official in DC, he can't be found when things happen because he doesn't tell anyone where he's going. The mass shooting was a horrible tragedy and I feel for those families, but Hizzoner was probably not necessary for a photo-op there. But what if it had been a terrorist attack on the Metro, or at DC government building? People expect their elected leaders to be available in a crisis, or at least for someone to know, and be able to say, where s/he is. Fenty now has a record of being "unreachable."

Posted by: IndolentCin | March 31, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like SC governor Mark Sanford. His public schedules show this former GOP presidential hopeful generally has 1 meeting a day on Tuesdays, Wednesday and/or Thursday. If he's somewhere on Friday, It's usually on the coast. Guess he's visiting with those boys he left alone on Father's Day last year when he was in Argentina.

Can't the council/legislature make this scum put out real public schedules so we can know they are working 37.5 hours a week? The press sure needs to stay on them about it.

Posted by: edismae | March 31, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray said on WTOP a while ago that he had no money to campaign against Fenty. In order to win against Fenty, I think that Gray will not need any money! The mayor's unexplained absence at this time is just another example why Gray will win.

Posted by: jscafetta | March 31, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Please, not the stupidity of wanting to know what he is doing on his personal time. Legit journalists trying to be paparazzi is not productive.

Are we going to start asking about sexual positions with his wife next? Has the Post got a photographer with a zoom lense focused on his bedroom?

Get a life people.

Posted by: streff | March 31, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Come on, STREFF!! What do you mean? I don't think anyone cares about what he's doing on his personal time. He has a history of not being informative; that's why it's being viewed as is. And, then, what's there to hide? He has a right to a vacation, right? Well, we don't have much longer to deal with his crap anyhow, Gray will take up on that leadership position soon!

Posted by: stoneyuptwn | March 31, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't you folks realize that royalty -- after all he thinks we have crowned him our King, not elected him to work for us --doesn't have to tell his subjects where he is. The President publishes a daily schedule, and we know when and where he is on vacation. Fenty doesn't publish a schedule when he is in town -- likely because most of the time he is working out, ala GW Bush.

And aren't we entitled to know who paid for this trip given the King's past history?

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | March 31, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

If the mayor of the nation's capital told tons of people when and for how long he would be out of town, terrorists might view the city as more vulnerable. I know it's unlikely, but it is possible that that's why he doesn't alert The Washington Post when he goes on vacation.

You can dislike Fenty because it looks like he might be steering a few contracts to his frat brothers and disregarding proper bidding procedures, but don't fault the man for having some private time with his family. He's a husband and a dad as well as a mayor.

Posted by: jonesey1 | March 31, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

try again, jonesey1 - if the president of the US and other mayors can publish their travel schedules, so can Fenty.

No one is begrudging him private time. It's being deceitful and imperious that people don't like.

Posted by: efavorite | April 1, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

To the Fenty apologists, it places the city in a leadership quandry when the Mayor leaves town and doesn't inform the 2nd in charge, the Council Chairman, that he is not here. More for the apologists, there is no Mayor in this nation that doesn't notify the next in charge when they are out of town and where they are in the event of a public emergency OR in the event the executive is seriously injuried or killed while away. It is all about responsible Continuity of Government.

This is not the first time that Fenty has placed this city in such a precarious situation while he is on vacation or taking "official" trips abroad.

He is egotistical, irresponsible, childish, and worse, wreckless.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | April 1, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

This is what happens when a "child" tries to runs the Nation's Capital. The citizens need mature leadership, like Mr. Gray!

Posted by: fivetogo | April 1, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Was the Jamaica trip a vacation, as in he paid for it, or a junket paid for by the Optimists?

Posted by: emrj | April 1, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps his frat brothers sponsored his trip.

Posted by: fmurray20011 | April 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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