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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."

By Mike DeBonis  |  August 24, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , Marion Barry , The District , Vincent Gray  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DeMorning DeBonis: Aug. 24, 2010
Next: Mendelson camp ponders ways to address Michael Brown confusion


Rhee is going to run the okie doke on Fenty supporters!!

Either way she is out of here after the primary! Collect her contract and exit cash and on the next flight out. Give it til spring so it won’t look too bad.

Mayor Johnson is no joke, and is the one who wears the pants in that family.

Fool me once, shame on you!

Fool me twice, shame on __________!

Posted by: gordonbundy | August 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry's endorsement will definitely help solidify the employed people's vote ... for Fenty.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | August 24, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just Dandy Mike, post like yours prove the clear class/race dynamic happening in our city.

The implication that only unemployed people support Gray is as incredulous at it gets. And to think there are people really trying to say that this is about results.

Nope, not as long as Mikeoncapitolhill and his cohorts are around spewing division.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 24, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The old "no comment" by the Fenty insiders says it all--they were definitely looking for Barry's endorsement. Post--cut the spin. We know who you support, but can you at least report a story straight?

Posted by: PepperDr | August 24, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Say what you WILL about Mr. Barry's but he has served the residents of this city and Ward 8 when NO ONE cared about the least, the last, and the lost.

He has served this city and its residents for 40 years. Like him or Hate him, if he were to RUN TODAY, yes, I said TODAY, he would be a viable candidated.

People are hurting in this city, good people, honest people, and loyal people, who have been loyal to this city.

Posted by: lacairaine | August 24, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

For Fenty to even think about seeking Barry's endorsement is a sure sign of desperation

Posted by: starclimber9 | August 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow! WP this is not news, Barry can endorse just as well as WP endorse Fenty. This city is surely divided, my vote is for Gray. Great job, Fenty you had your 4 years who's next?

Posted by: drfields | August 25, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

lacairaine, if Barry is such the demi-god who "served this city and its residents for 40 years" why are the people of Ward 8 still suffering such high rates of poverty and unemployment? Why has every mayor since Barry had to struggle to undo all the mess that the Barry years are still wreaking on DC? When people vote based on emotion and not fact, you get people like Barry representing Ward 8. The fact is that Ward 8 is and has been a mess. However you feel about Barry does not change that fact.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | August 25, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse


I betcha he didn't want to be seen with you anywhere - I know I wouldn't.

Your idiot actions have rendered moot whatever good you may have done for the city.

Go somewhere and retire. Your name alone conjurs up bad feelings toward the city.

Posted by: keedrow | August 25, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG, what is the level of journalism at the Post now? You do strikeouts in the text??? How about an addendum instead?

Posted by: elizestrada | August 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

lacairaine - Blacks had 40 years themselves to get their own sheite together in that area and what have we done - NOTHING. I lived in Barry Farms in 67 and 40 some years later it is worse now than it was back then. The blame for lack of positive change can be placed squarely on generations of foul-living individuals.

Posted by: keedrow | August 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

lol, this election is getting humorous

Posted by: johng1 | August 25, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry, Mr.Cracktown himself, oh please. I live in Ward 8 and Marion Berry is living off what he did in the 1980's. Nobody has forgotten what he has done in 90's when our city was seized by the control board and we still have agencies under federal receivership like CSOSA. Recently, Marion Barry is best known for allowing the only hospital, East of the River to almost get closed down and getting censored on city council. Tell me one thing that was built in Ward 8 in the past 15 years other than Mayor Williams and Mayor Fenty did? Damn, you can hear a pin drop. Barry sure liked meeting with Emmanuel Bailey since 2008 to help award him a 38 million dollar lottery contract. Barry does not give a hoot about anyone but himself. Ask Donna, how he still get s down. Better yet go around Big Chair Coffee and see the man live in action. Barry can not pass a drug test to this day to save his life. He is an opportunist who last claim to fame was a long time ago. He toppled Sharon Pratt Kelly, fresh out of jail and yet DC was still was known as the murder capitol and had the worst schools in the nation. Again, if anyone can tell me one thing Bary has done for Ward 8 in the past ten years, I have a bridge to barter. Barry would sell the John A Wilson Building for a bag of green so no way can he or Gray get my vote. Under Gray, DHS stood for De-Humanized Services. Don't believe me, than check the archives of Congress. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Posted by: AmandaBroadnax | August 26, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

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