Would someone tell Vincent Gray that he's running for mayor?
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) so botched the city's response to February's double-whammy snow storms that he turned me into a single-issue citizen of the District. That's why I was happy when City Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) jumped into the race. I would have a choice to make. But he's got a long way to go to earn my vote. Gray uttered just 211 words -- and said nothing about why he is running.
"The reality is, we can do better in the District of Columbia," Gray said. "We can do better. We can do better. And we will be talking about the ways in which we can do better during the course of this campaign." What, pray tell, can we do better? He didn't say. And Gray still refused to say what he would do on "The Politics Hour" of "The Kojo Nnamdi Show" this morning when he was asked to name three things he'd like to get done in his first 100 days.
As someone who worked on a mayoral campaign (Mike Bloomberg 1.0), let me advise Gray's brain trust to stop playing the Rose Garden strategy and start laying out a vision for the the District. And here's another thing Gray should do: run a campaign that doesn't play on race.
At an education forum on Wednesday before community groups who don't care for Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, Gray slammed Rhee for replacing the principal of the highly successful and majority black Hardy Middle School in Georgetown. "It is sickening and disgusting to see what happened [there]," he said. "Here is a school that is working. We have something that shouldn't be dismantled. We have something that should be replicated all across the District of Columbia!" The Post's Bill Turque notes that this earned Gray "spirited applause." But then he added, "I would say, I don't get it. But you get it, and I get it also."
Yeah, I get what he's talking about. And I don't like it. Gray's campaign slogan is "One City: Leadership We Need." Because of that smack at Rhee and his unwillingness to start talking substance, that mantra falls into the category of empty rhetoric.
| April 2, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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