When will Don Peebles make up his ever-loving mind?
Allow this to be my first public service as a Washington Post blogger: I will get R. Donahue Peebles to declare his mayoral intentions once and for all.
Last we heard from the megadeveloper, he told the crowd at a D.C. Chamber of Commerce event that he'd make a decision on whether to challenge Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray in "the next coming days." That was nearly two weeks ago, and it follows months of on-again, off-again boasting, teasing and promising.
While us full-time D.C. residents are trying to stage a nice, tidy, exciting, mano a mano mayoral race this summer, Peebles and his potential self-financed $5 million war chest wait in the wings.
Get in or get out -- the moment sure isn't going to get any riper. Herewith, a complete history of the Peebles mayoral trial balloon:
FLOATED: In October -- a month after his company loses the Stevens School sweepstakes -- Peebles tells ace biz reporter Jonathan O'Connell, then at the Washington Business Journal, that he's considering a mayoral run. Peebles offers no timetable for a decision.
INFLATED: In early December, the speculation heats up after Washington Times reporter David C. Lipscomb reveals that certain Web domains -- including peeblesformayor.com -- have quietly been reserved. And Peebles does a hype-stoking Dec. 4 appearance on Mark Plotkin's WTOP radio show, where he said he'd have a decision in seven to 10 days.
DEFLATED: Seven to 10 days comes and goes. Year's end comes and goes. Nothing. On Jan. 5, Peebles announces that he "cannot enter the race at this time" because of his mother-in-law's grave illness.
INFLATED: Peebles shows his face around town in late January, making it perfectly clear that he's not out of this yet. The centerpiece of his tour is a speech to the Federation of Civic Associations lambasting Fenty.
DEFLATED: Peebles keeps a low media profile through February. A March 10 piece published in the District Chronicles, a Howard University student publication, quotes Peebles: "My vow as a husband and my responsibilities as a father to support my wife and children supersede my desires to serve in a public office. I don't plan to be a candidate."
INFLATED: In mid-March, I reported on personnel moves that indicated that Peebles might be readying a run. Toward month's end, with Vince Gray set to announce his own run, Peebles reiterates that he's by no means out, and vows: "I will be a very competitive candidate, and I will win." He promises an answer after a spring-break trip to the Caribbean.
DEFLATED: Spring break comes and goes. Nada.
INFLATED: In mid-April, Peebles appears on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, where he says he's "weighing the decision very carefully," but offers no timeline for doing so.
DEFLATED: Peebles's continued noncommittal prompted this bon mot from analyst Tom Sherwood: "Waffles are for breakfast, not for political campaigns."
INFLATED: On May 13, ahead of a speaking engagement at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, his spokeswoman tells the City Paper's Lydia DePillis: "Everyone's going to know his plans sooner rather than later. ... He is still giving it serious consideration." At a May 19 event in Prince George's County, according to the Washington Informer, he "hinted of his possible political aspirations throughout his 25-minute address, with statements that included, 'I've been looking at the political world' and 'I will take a pay cut soon.' " During his May 20 chamber speech, Peebles says a decision will come in "the next coming days."
DEFLATED: It's been almost two weeks. em>Bupkes. Today, his spokeswoman tells me her boss has been spending time with his family.
I'll be calling tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. You get the picture.
Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post
June 2, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , Don Peebles , The District
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