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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Did Gray miss a chance with Boehner?

By Aaron Morrissey

On Jan. 27, Mayor Vince Gray held a closed-door meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). It was a valuable opportunity for Gray -- who had recently marched up to the Hill to scold Republicans for taking away the vote of D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton -- to speak with the leader of the new Republican majority about a variety of issues, including Boehner's proposal to bring back private-school vouchers, the variety of Republican legislation aimed at Washington's autonomy and the Republican Study Group's proposal to swipe millions of dollars from the District.

So what did Gray and Boehner talk about? Well, no one was really sure. But after the meeting, Gray did take some heat from Post columnist Colbert King, who found out that the mayor did not use the chance to bring up the Republican Study Group's crushing cost-cutting proposal. Today, Gray defended the meeting with Boehner as but a brief get-to-know-you session.

"The purpose of my meeting was to get to know Mr. Boehner, the person and the leader, and for him to get to know me," Gray writes on this blog. "It was an opportunity for us to exchange views and for me to better understand his perception of the District."

"I likewise look forward to having this discussion with every elected leader of the House with oversight responsibility for the District, to share my views on city matters," Gray adds, while admitting that he did speak about vouchers with Boehner.

That's all well and good, of course. But one wonders how many more chances Gray will get to meet with the speaker of the House and press him about the urgency of the city's financial concerns -- not to mention the opportunity to mention to him that we're not peachy keen with being House Republicans' little fiefdom.

Aaron Morrissey blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Aaron Morrissey  | February 4, 2011; 1:41 PM ET
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Man poor Mayor Vince. 2 weeks on the job and you already giving the guy a hard time.
By the way, vouchers are a good thing. And for that matter if you don't think so I guess it's not about the kids is it.
I believe Mayor Gray knows this.

Wasn't Ms. Norton's vote only symbolic to begin with. Like that silly shadow senator thing?

Sounds like this was a meet and greet. That's all. Did you expect him to hit Boehner with the whole laundry list at one time?

I think Williams and Fenty did improve things in the city incrementally. If The mayor can use his approach to become friends and appear to have common goals for the city and the Country maybe that helps move the improvement along.

Posted by: joeortega4 | February 4, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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