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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.

By Mike DeBonis  |  August 18, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Adrian Fenty , DCision 2010 , The District  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. poll finds mayoral race to be a virtual tie
Next: DeMorning DeBonis: Aug. 18, 2010

Comments

To be Clear:


Main Entry: ar·ro·gant
Pronunciation: \-gənt\

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin arrogant-, arrogans, present participle of arrogare

Date: 14th century

1 : exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner

2 : proceeding from or characterized by arrogance

synonyms see proud

— ar·ro·gant·ly adverb

Posted by: gordonbundy | August 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the scene from the South Park movie where Saddam Hussein serrenades his lover, Satan:

"Yes I can change, I can change!
I know i've been a dirty little b----rd
I like to kill! I like to maim! Yes, I'm insane!
But it's okay, 'COS I CAN CHANGE!!"

How come we never heard anything remotely conciliatory before a couple polls showing Grey with a slim lead? Forgive me if I don't buy it.

Posted by: jamietre | August 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

On this ad he should be admitting that the previous ads are lies. Rosedale ad is a lie. Blue Sky got the contract for Rosedale but there is no work going on. A lie. Schools getting better? A lie! Test scores have plunged! Another lie! I guess soon we'll have one from the mayor that tells him what to do and thinks that New York makes a difference. An insult to DC voters.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 18, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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.
______________________________________

Apologize? He even suggests that he had nothing to do with the 85 million in contract awards and lauds the illegal maneuver to move these tax dollars to the Housing Authority to be doled out without the required council approval as being within reason.

Apologize all he wants, he should follow his own stated policy and hold himself accountable in the same way he says he holds city employees accountable. He should fire himself. If not, we should fire him.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 18, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

poor guy--I know for a fact that somebody, somewhere, sometime in the existance of the DC government made a decision! To say or imply otherwise is ...sort of shooting yourself in the foot, isn't it?

Posted by: 1citizen | August 18, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Yea Fenster. You had your chance. For nearly 4 yours. You didn't listen to anyone then, so why would you think you could change now? A zebra doesn't change it's stripes.

I am one of the many former Fenty voters that strongly support Vince Gray. I believe we can have civility, inclusion, transparency, and get results at the same time. These things need not be mutually exclusive.

Posted by: DCResident3 | August 18, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

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