In new TV ad, Fenty admits 'mistakes'
Mayor Adrian Fenty has released yet another ad, and where his previous ads sought to put the spotlight on his accomplishments and his opponent's failings, this one puts Fenty himself front and center.
He returns to the scene of his first TV ad, from 2006 -- the stoop of his childhood home in Mount Pleasant. And he hits a note that he debuted last week: I'm gonna change!
"Like anyone else, I've made my share of mistakes," Fenty says looking straight into the camera as music swells. "Going forward I'll learn from them and be more inclusive which will make me a better mayor."
But the ad isn't all sweetness and light. "What I will never do is go back to the ways of the past, where budgets weren't balanced because public officials refused to make tough decisions," Fenty says as headlines from Vincent Gray's early '90s tenure as human services director dance on the screen. But Fenty never mentions Gray by name.
Call it a positive-negative ad. It comes a day after a Fenty campaign mailer hit the streets featuring a side-by-side comparison of Fenty's mayoral record on children and homelessness with Gray's DHS record.
In the TV ad, Fenty betrays a slight smile as he delivers his closing line: "Transition is tough, change has enemies, but results are non-negotiable."
It's a strong ad, by far the best that the Fenty re-election campaign has aired. But is it too little too late? Today's Clarus poll found Hizzoner has an unfavorability rating of 42 percent.
Fenty campaign spokesman Sean Madigan says the full 60-second ad will start running on local stations today. The campaign also has cut a 30-second version of the ad, Madigan says, which will run later in the campaign.
UPDATE, 10 A.M.: A response from Gray strategist Mo Elleithee: "It's ironic that he starts off bemoaning politicians who tell people what they want to hear, because that's exactly what he's doing. Apologies are nice. Everyone loves a politician who apologizes. But apologies only work if they're believable, and his isn't."
Elleithee notes that Fenty has yet to apologize for the $82 million in parks and recreation contracts that were awarded to close allies in a process that evaded D.C. Council scrutiny.
August 18, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories: Adrian Fenty , DCision 2010 , The District
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