Barry claims Fenty wanted his support
Marion Barry would like the world to know that he is very much in demand.
The former mayor and current Ward 8 council member buttonholed this reporter last night outside the Ward 5 straw poll, where Barry was playing cheerleader for various city campaigns -- including Vincent Gray's mayoral run.
Barry -- wearing a Gray hat, a T-shirt touting Ward 5 incumbent Harry Thomas Jr. and stickers advertising Kwame Brown's chairman run -- wanted to make it clear that his mayoral endorsement was not fait accompli, that as recently as "a couple of weeks ago" incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty had sought his backing.
"They had at least a half-dozen emissaries approach me about supporting him," said Barry. "They want my support. They'd love to get it."
The claim strains credulity. Even though Fenty accepted Barry's endorsement in 2006, Barry has spent much of the past two years criticizing and undercutting Fenty at most every turn. More to the point, the Fenty campaign has been engaged in a scorched-earth effort to paint Gray as an unreformed old-schooler, and there's little chance they'd scramble that message by accepting a Barry nod.
A call to the Fenty camp was not immediately returned. The Fenty camp had no comment.
Barry declined to name names of said emissaries. "I wouldn't tell you because it's politically incorrect," he said.
Asked why he and Gray had not done a formal endorsement ceremony if his backing was such a big deal, Barry demurred. "I'm so smart politically, we don't need to do a big event," he said. "Whatever we do, it's gonna be smart."
On the topic of smarts, Barry called Fenty "politically dumb" for not attending the straw poll or sending campaign staffers out to stump for votes. "It is idiotic politically not to have signs and people out here campaigning," he said.
Barry teed up his new slogan: "Fire Adrian Fenty, hire Vincent Gray," he said. "That's what I said on the robocalls" sent to Ward 5 voters ahead of the straw poll.
He'll be recording more robocalls for the Gray campaign and canvassing with the candidate, as he did last Friday. But Barry declined to detail what role, exactly, he's playing in the Gray campaign: "We're not running a traditional campaign. It's not important what my role is."
August 24, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , Marion Barry , The District , Vincent Gray
Save & Share: Previous: DeMorning DeBonis: Aug. 24, 2010
Next: Mendelson camp ponders ways to address Michael Brown confusion
Posted by: gordonbundy | August 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mikecapitolhill | August 24, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dcis1 | August 24, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PepperDr | August 24, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lacairaine | August 24, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: starclimber9 | August 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drfields | August 25, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lipschitzantwon | August 25, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: keedrow | August 25, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: elizestrada | August 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: keedrow | August 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: johng1 | August 25, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AmandaBroadnax | August 26, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse