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How Vincent Gray beat Adrian Fenty -- and what awaits him

The remarkable thing about District Council Chairman Vincent Gray's victory was the unremarkable way in which he went about it. He kept his ego in check and did it by the book. From the time he made up his mind to challenge Mayor Adrian Fenty to the day of his formal declaration on March 30, Gray spent energy on doing his homework. Raising money was not at the top of his agenda.

Gray spent months -- some thought too many months -- quietly taking soundings around the city. There wasn't a politician, pundit, community activist or civic leader who, during that period of quiet consultation, didn't converse with Gray about a possible challenge to Fenty. And Gray also got an earful about what they didn't like about the mayor and his way of doing business.

By the time Gray entered the race, he knew who was on his side, ready to go the distance against an incumbent who had already raised millions of dollars for his reelection bid. Working in Gray's favor was a network of people built up over the years that knew, liked, and trusted him to be a person of his word. The money, Gray knew, would come later. First he needed a cadre that believed in what they were doing. That's what he put together, and right under Fenty's nose.

Fenty probably never saw it coming. Or if he did, he was so blinded by the sparkle of his campaign treasury and caught up in the memory of winning every precinct in his first mayoral race that he failed to take the challenge seriously.

That is the story to come out of this election. Vincent Gray is to be taken seriously.

That will be in evidence as the mayor-elect puts together his cabinet. He is dead serious about drawing upon the best this city has to offer. The same methodical approach he followed in building a crack campaign organization will be on display as he organizes his administration. Using the criterion of first looking for first-rate talent close to home, it's likely Gray will ask the very popular and effective Police Chief Cathy Lanier to stay on the job. At least he should.

There are a few others in the Fenty administration who should be asked to stick around as well. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee could have been one of them. But, unfortunately, she took that decision out of Gray's hands when she decided last week to work publicly for his defeat in the mayor's race. Having told Gray by her action where she stands on him, she has no reason to think that he, as mayor and her future boss, would expect her to stand with him now. She should do the honorable thing and tender her resignation, leaving it to Gray to decide, after an open exchange of views with her on educational reform issues, whether he wants her to stay.

But even as he goes about putting his team together, Gray has to start thinking about the challenge of closing the city's widening racial gap. At a time of shrinking resources, the next mayor will have the tough job of reconciling the competing claims on the District's limited tax dollars. Race need not be the complicating factor, and it won't be if city leaders address the issue head-on by encouraging the kind of open dialogue that can dispel fears, provide enlightenment and a build consensus where needed. Gray now has the change to prove he is that kind of leader.

By Colbert King  | September 15, 2010; 1:30 AM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Next: The GOP's primary-night putsch


He hasn't won yet, you racist, sexist bigot.

Posted by: asuka1 | September 15, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr King...isn't there something wrong when Mr Gray gets the endorsement from the crack head poverty pimp mayor that bankrupted and drove the city right into the ground?

Sadly...Mr Fenty was a reformer and did not pander. Folks that don't pander are considered arrogant in

Get ready for white flight part II in DC...

Posted by: | September 15, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, he has.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 15, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

@asuka1: Your angry diatribe tells me that, yes, HE HAS. We, the majority of the people, celebrate. EAT CHEESE!!!

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 15, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Gray's election is a huge step backwards for D.C., there's no other way to put it.

Posted by: twigmuffin | September 15, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

@twigmuffin: Nasty political cronyism began the day Fenty was elected Mayor. We thank Mayor Anthony Williams for the progress of today's District of Columbia. Today, we return to the path that he laid.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 15, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

It was time for "CHANGE" at the Wilson Building in the mayor's office. I am a 55 year old black professional native Washingtonian living in upper Northwest Washington, D.C. in Ward 4.

Mayor Adrian Fenty fooled everyone with his phony populism and everyone thought he was Mr. Nice Guy, man of the people. I knew he was a disaster, when in the first debate at UDC he was unable to name the three credit rating agencies! Let's get with it people, when are we as voters going to start electing politicians for their intellectual capabilities and not because they make us feel good? Good on all of you DC residents who voted for Mr. Clean, now the city will once again go down the drain under his leadership...I TOLD YOU SO!!!

Bye Bye Mayor Adrian M. Fenty aka King Adrian Malik Fenty. Once you officially leave office, please take Peter Nickles aka Grandpa Munster, Ron Moten, Michelle Rhee, Linda Argo, Gabe Klein, Ron Austin, Neil Albert, and Valerie Santos alone with you. All should send their Resumes to New York City to Mayor Bloomberg.

@asuka1, you are one bitter human being. Get over your bitterness and if you don't, move the heck out of D.C. Iowa or Kansas with Dorothy and the Wizzard.

Posted by: KappaNupe | September 15, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse,
If you took DNA samples from both Gray and Marion Barry and you took those samples to a forensics laboratory, you find that they would NOT match.

Posted by: starclimber9 | September 15, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I think the point of the election was that the spoils of school reform were never distributed equitably. West of the park children are far more likely to be attending beautifully renovated schools, and east of the river children were more likely to have had their neighborhood schools closed. East of the river children are more likely to be in classes with inexperienced teachers, and they are less likely to be offered a broad educational experience (outside of test prep). Basically, large numbers of east of the river kids are still attending crumbling schools, their test scores are still lagging, and their parents have lost patience with the constant upheaval. I agree that the divide is economic, but the majority of children who have suffered the underside school reform are black. It is in the interest of every resident in the city to try to contribute to the healing of the rift that school reform has caused.

Posted by: berniehorn | September 15, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

@berniehorm: You epitomize the very essence of what is wrong with school reform in the District of Columbia. You "People Worship". Education reform is not wrapped around any one person and it NEVER HAS BEEN. Chancellor Rhee has done nothing more than move forward the work that Dr. Clifford Janey started. Work that is now producing fruit. You are like cattle looking for a shepherd to lead you.

School reform is about systemic changes that supersede people. It is about time you swallow that hard pill.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 15, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

He hasn't won yet, you racist, sexist bigot.

Posted by: asuka1
YOU'RE ONE TO TALK!!! Did you forget about your own bigoted,prejudiced comments on the PostLocal story 'Gray decisively beats Fenty' ?

Posted by: ArmchairGM | September 15, 2010 3:32 AM | Report abuse

Get ready for white flight part II in DC...

Posted by:

Well, if you feel that way...BYE!

Posted by: ArmchairGM | September 15, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

Sorry DC has took 8 steps backwards.

Posted by: rinny_1983 | September 15, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Mr. Gray, he will make an excellent Mayor.

Fenty needs to answer for his conduct both before and after his election 4 years ago.
We want him accountable and we want to get at the puppet masters behind Fenty and most especially hold them accountable to the rule of law.

Marc Elias (attorney, DNC advisor) needs to go. Bloomberg needs to get out of national politics and be held accountable for his outrageous actions against the common good.

I hope going forward DC will lead the way to a national sea change to turn back the assault underway of the bill of rights and the us constitution. Sounds high faulutin' but as a country are just waking up to how we have been had. Not by an attack of a discernable enemy but by individuals grouped together for private interests who have been able to practically overwhelmed the good people of this country and the common good they have created. We are in the new American Revolution and the people in power or the royalists. ------yesterday we got rid on one of them.

again Congrats to Mr Gray and the good people of DC.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | September 15, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

My impression has been that there has been, if not racism, certainly racial jealousy & envy, and that Mr Gray is a symptom & beneficiary of this, not its cure.

He was clearly not going to work with Ree no matter what she did, which is probably why she threw herself into the race (gotta admire her 'all-in' style).

Fenty was abrasive and hewed to his buds too much, perhaps, but he got things done. Gray will most likely be a trip back to the old boring do-nothing politics of the past. Children are the big losers in this election.

Posted by: glenerian | September 15, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I think someone who creates as much change as Fenty did has to expect a backlash. If he didn't realize that, he should have. The election was more a referendum on Fenty's changes than on Gray's capabilities. The electorate wanted a conciliator.

That's not a catastrophe. It's just more change.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 15, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to future mayor Vince Gray and all who worked and voted for him.

I picked up some discussion about this race on CNN yesterday afternoon. The commentators were discussing the implications for education reform across the country if Mayor Fenty lost. Since I am in the rest of the country, not DC., what they said was of particular interest to me. One of the pundits asserted that
if Mayor Fenty lost, other mayors who wanted to enact education reform would feel "a chill" realizing that they could be
bested by a teachers' union who didn't want reform.

Based on what I've read in these columns, as I've followed this race and Michelle Rhee's career here from afar, I would think that was far too simplistic an analysis. It seemed to me that voters were not rejecting education reform so much as they were rejecting the arrogance, unfairness, and lack of accountability in the way it was being enacted.

Having read many of the comments by the readers, their frustration and anger seemed reasonable, and so I cheered when I saw that Mr.Gray had won.

Posted by: martymar123 | September 15, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Oooh! White flight? Ah's so-o-o-o-o-o-o scared if'n they leaves! LAWD hammercy!!!!

Now. Let's toss out the race bugaboo and talk about issues, okay? The outgoing mayor suffered from a naked emperor complex. Got so filled up with himself that he failed to listen even to his own advisers. Remember when he ran for mayor? This very newspaper touted Fenty's supposed ability to listen, which was seen as a foil to his youth and inexperience. Yet even after he decided that he didn't need to listen to anyone, not his advisers and certainly not his constituents, the Post endorsed him anyway. So much for unbiased journalism.

If the worst we have to fear is disaffected white people--and apparently the disaffected ones are the ones who fear that they couldn't prevail on a level playing field--then the rest of us, be we African (U.S. born or otherwise), Caucasian, Asian, Latino or Other, will just have to suffer when this threatened mass exodus occurs. Oh well.

Posted by: LovemyPrivacy70gmailcom | September 15, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"Race need not be the complicating factor, and it won't be if city leaders address the issue head-on by encouraging the kind of open dialogue that can dispel fears, provide enlightenment and a build consensus where needed."

And that has happened how many times since home rule? You can "provide" all the enlightenment you can muster, but if nobody wants it, what's the use?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 15, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Colby the Clown talks about "honor" when discussing Ms. Rhee, fresh off a column trashing her. Nice.

Posted by: jd5024 | September 15, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Back to the corrupt Marion Barry days...the welfare voters in this city will reap what they sow.

Watch the economy slump (despite having the federal government subsidize this cesspool);

Crime go up;

The wealthy whites leave; and

Schools fail..

/moves to Virginia.

Posted by: taburd02 | September 15, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people". Fenty was tone deaf at least when it came to listening to the people who live East of the river. Fenty hedged his bet on the new, wealthy, professional, mostly white voters. He realized later that a lot of these new voters were registered as independants and could not vote in the Democratic primary. He then tried change the election laws by appealing to the Board of Election and was rejected. At last he tried to run to the White House to have O'bama save him from his self destuction. Fenty has no one to blame but himself. This is a democracy. When you don't listen to the people you get booted, end of story!!!!!

Posted by: kevltrlaw | September 15, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

White flight? Pleezz, but if that's the case, good riddings!

Posted by: gwenmariemc3 | September 15, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

As a white, professional, ward 4 voter, I agree with King's analysis to a point. although I voted for Fenty last time, I did so with uncertainty. As the Ward 4 Councilman, he was always more of a show-pony than a workhorse. He had a poor grasp of issues and was not especially articulate. His record of ethical lapses in his brief legal career aslo cause me concern, but I hoped that, if elected he would surround himself with bright, qualified and experienced people in this administation. Unfortunately that was not the case. Instead he surrounded himself with cronies, yes-men, the unqualified and inexperienced, the ethically and intellectually challenged. One pooint I would strongloy disagree with, is the proposed retension of Cathy Lanier as Police Chief. Her lack of experience and understand of p[olicing, beyond her own limited expereince in DC, has resulted in easily avoidable errors in her management of the MPD; notably her abandonment of Chief Ramseys' community policing programs. Her best decision was to keep a low profile, but she, and the city, would be better served if she moved to another large police department as a deputy chief, where she could gain sone seasoning and perspective, such as boston, Chicago, Kansas City or Philadelphia.

Posted by: mcstowy | September 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Did you forget that Marion Barry actually supported Fenty 4 years ago? Kind of puts the rest of your comments in perspective. Or in the trash, which is where uninformed, knee-jerk reactionaries belong.

Good grief...can't we look past the color of skin and towards the content of character? Fenty lost because of his arrogance and disconnect with the voters and the media. Period. End of story. Did you ever listen to an "interview" (and I use the words loosely) with the man during the past 4 years? Dismissive of every question with the implied answer, "Why the hell do you think you can even talk to me?" underlying his actual answer to any question.

I'm a white middle-class DC resident. I love this city and the progress it has made, progress that is still largely due to Tony Williams time in office. I, and all the white folks I know, make no plans to "white flight" out of this city. Much to the contrary, I intend to stay here for the long haul. It's a wonderful city with such untapped potential, and I voted for Gray because I think he sees that too and will move forward on the positives that Fenty made during his time in office (and there were many positives along with those negatives.)

But Fenty was well on his way to being the next "Mayor for life" and I, for one, am happy his ego, arrogance, and confident ability to listen to no one but himself has ended in disaster. If he had won, I am convinced he would have ruled essentially by fiat for the next 4-8-12-etc years. I don't think this is the end of his political career. I just hope he learns a lasting lesson from this defeat and, during his next stint as an elected official, learns to counter his naturally abrasive style while still getting things done.

So thank you to Mayor Fenty for the last 4 years of hard work, and congratulations to Mayor Gray. I predict that if the main fear about Gray does come true (that we fall into the "dark days" of the 90s of a totally ineffectual city government held hostage by crime and political cronyism), then he too will be ousted. This election was about accountability. Fenty had none and the lesson has been learned.

Posted by: LetDCVote | September 15, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I'll just say this: DC's democratic machinations and electorate are a lot more vibrant and healthy than what exists across the river in my hometown Arlington.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | September 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

fenty should not take all the credit for the progress DC has made over the last decade. Anthony Williams made running this city pretty much a layup. the one thing Fenty can take credit for is the appointment of Lanier.

Posted by: ryjufox3 | September 15, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Gray's platform (abetted by Colbert King) was that Fenty wasn't black enough to lead the city. Gray's victory (like many of King's columns) is one of style over substance.

With a platform like that, what can go wrong?

Posted by: diehardlib | September 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Grey but he seems like a politician from the past. Fenty might not have been the nicest guy but he appeared to be a man looking forward.

I don't know if this is true but I suspect that the old guard of the District (city workers and teachers) saw their steady income stream in jeopardy and decided to get rid of the threat.
I hope Grey moves this city forward and not back to the wasteful, self serving past.

Posted by: priceisright | September 15, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Sadly...Mr Fenty was a reformer and did not pander. Folks that don't pander are considered arrogant in"

Who ever said this is comical.

He certainly did pander, just not to the majority of the voting population of the residents of DC.

He spent his time pandering to prospective residents with changes like adding bike paths and bike rentals, reforming the schools (in a manner that while it may end up being for the good, was poorly handled) and putting in dog parks. None of which daily residents of DC will use often.

Something else. When he did good things in the 'hood, he did not make it known to the rest of the city. Deanwood got a new community center with a state of the art football field, library and indoor pool. He should have been trumpeting successes like that from the rooftops. But he didn't I assume because it didn't pander to what he THOUGHT his base was.

Posted by: keithrjackson | September 15, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

All of these fools posting about the threat of white flight don't even live in the District. They all live in Virginia and sleep with their confederate flag blankets wrapped tightly around them.

Hopefully Grey will take a measured and more inclusive approach to governance that includes all people in D.C. Maybe if Fenty spent less money building Fenty Field and more time worrying about the less fortunate in the city he would be celebrating another victory.

Posted by: kschur1 | September 15, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

And lets not forget all of Fenty's grossly enriched fraternaty brothers who sold access and got exclusive no-bid contracts during Fenty's term. These frat boys were peniless nobodies prior to Fenty becoming mayor.

Posted by: kschur1 | September 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Gray played the race card, even running advertisements noting that "people of color" were being laid off from the school system.

Of course, this is acceptable to King, since blacks are allowed to play the race card.

Posted by: grantpaten | September 15, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Gray campaigned very skillfully, but in the end, Fenty beat Fenty. Most Gray voters were voting not for Gray, but against Fenty.

Posted by: AdrianMole | September 15, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Colby, I tought I would give myself a break from staying up into the morning waiting on the Fenty concession speech, before reading the comments to Post articles. Fortunately, those people who believe that ALL Americans have the right to vote for whom they please, will remain in DC. Those who believe that blacks should not have a voice in government, but should just be grateful for any poor treatment they get, will hopefully move on. Washington will thrive, people will live and we will all move on. Politicians are accountable to the people, the people have spoken. Poof be gone!

Posted by: topryder1 | September 15, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@priceisright before you make a comment, you should educate yourself. Priceisright said "I don't know Grey but he seems like a politician from the past. Fenty might not have been the nicest guy but he appeared to be a man looking forward."

There are a lot of assumptions that are loaded in that sentence like seems and appear

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 15, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Fenty loss because he was a RACIST THIEF!!
Fenty is a Tiger Woods style RACIST!!!
It only makes sense that Whites would like him. But, that doesn't mean he's a good Mayor. Fenty TARGETED Blacks for firing as a symbol and sure enough you folks in Wards 2 and 3 loved it. You guys are defending what was a RACIST Mayor.

He had an agenda that whites are in denial about. Dude wanted to fire Blacks and hire Whites. The thinking....Black are incompetent....Whites are smart. Simple as that. Racist. As many of you here privately believe that to be true. Hey...Adrian did it for you. You know who you are.

So when you folks get all excited about an unqualified Michelle Rhee and fail to see it. When you have a Mayor that's catering to our new gentrification community only and you still can't see it... Most likely you are one that believes the stereotypes as well. But, The true Washingtonians spoke last night.

Posted by: kentonsmith | September 15, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

And now the children will suffer ... as they always do in Washington DC.

Posted by: cautious | September 15, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty were held accountable for their arrogant and condescending behavior toward the people of District of Columbia. Chancellor Rhee is incompetent and she end up as one the most polarizing figures in our city. She had no vision, just a narrow goal of improving test scores. Rhee’s legacy will be known firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. Rhee must be fired. This experiment is over.

Posted by: hello101 | September 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I expect Gray will be as successful as Marion Barry was.
DC makes the mistake of thinking/voting for what makes you feel good rather than objectively evaluating the results of Fenty's term. Gray will likely ask for Rhees resignation and she will gladly comply and move off to LA with her new husband and work for a school district in CA. I understand mayors in CA get 800-900K per year..perhaps school superintendents get comparable salaries!

As for the lesser experienced teachers on the SE side vs those on the NW side...why not ask the teachers' union WHY their most experienced and successful teachers invariably transfer to the NW side as soon as they get enough seniority or merit points? Black teachers are not stupid...they invariably transfer asap after beating their heads on the blackboard in SE.

Posted by: joy5 | September 15, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

By winning every precinct during the last election and being flush with $$$$$, only Feinty knows what got into Feinty. The notion that DC will have white flight is bs - people have invested $$$ and hard work, and after all Gray was just a vital part of the DC change so let's ditch the scare tactic. Gray will have to rise to the occasion while recognizing Feinty did bring value to the city, but he only has himself to blame for not being able to continue as Mayor. This is an opportunity for Gray to lead DC to even higher sights - Cut the cronyism, cut the hustling.....bring people into government and make sure there is legitimate opportunity for all to create a better DC.

Posted by: fredyt3 | September 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

As a 56 year old white guy, Viet Nam era Navy vet with no particular axe to grind, who has never lived closer to the District than Crisfield, I appreciate Mr. King's insights. If you're looking for a columnist who is never critical of black culture, you're looking in the wrong place here. Take the time to search out Colby King's biography. It's impressive, and at least to my mind, lends a lot of credibility to his writing.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | September 15, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I (second) the above comment.

He hasn't actually won yet.

Gray may have beat Fenty in the primary, but in doing so he exposed his weak flank. He couldn't run against Fenty's accomplishments, only against Fenty the person. And it isn't like Gray is Ronald Reagan. There may be a lot of people who wanted Fenty out, that doesn't mean they all want Gray in or that they didn't like anything that Fenty has accomplished.

What he has done is to open the door to a serious Republican challenge. New face, perhaps. New policies, not so much.
His face, definitely questionable.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 15, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Without any scientific evidence offered as proof, we have posited our "opinions" about what took place yesterday. We will indeed miss the learned and scholarly voice and sharp reasoning and intelligence of Dr. Ronald Walters. For people who embrace change, there is something dark and sinister when the change comes but not in the package that some expected. We can do better; we must do better for the future of our city. The children are watching. I embrace and congratulate the winner of the highly contested election for Mayor of the District of Columbia who will now have an opportunity to build on a foundation that has been laid by earlier District of Columbia mayors since Home Rule: Walter E. Washington(under whose leadership the government of the District of Columbia was created), Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt (Kelly), Anthony Williams, and Adrian Fenty. We should be prayerful for all the winners and the losers and their families. Grow up and move beyond feelings into building a better District of Columbia, my hometown! By the way, anyone at anytime will make choices that show the quality of the person. That is the nature of the freedom that we cherish and exercise daily through our thoughts, will and emotion. Congratulations to all the winners! I thank you, Mr. King, for your insight based on the depth of your knowledge, your love of this city, and your long experience.

Posted by: dpwinter | September 15, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the citizens of the District have spoken. We may have lost an effective Mayor, but we have gained a pal. Someone who feels our hurts and understands our disappointments.

I hope all the high school dropouts from decades of sub-standard DC public school education feel comforted by this victory. It validates that they aren't losers. They are the once and now future majority.

No need to feel inadequate. They are the norm, and there is no shame in being a normal DC high school drop out with no job and no prospects.

Vincent Gray, a man of the people.

Posted by: millerroberta | September 15, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

How quickly people forget. FENTY WAS INCREDIBLY POPULAR. The same Black people being blamed now for Fenty's downfall elected the man. If you weren't in town, you likely did not even know who he was, which is exactly the way things should be. He is young, good looking, and blessed with a gorgeous wife. Fenty had what appeared to be good ideas, the backing of very powerful persons, and no real opposition.

All that changed when the news about the contracts hit the Washington Post. That was the importunate matter that undid Mr. Fenty. The arrogance was never noticed, really, until that time; that's because it was not there. A crook caught with his hand in the till becomes arrogant when he tries to brazen it out.

If Mr. Gray is interviewed pantsless (Lady Gaga did not invent that particular bit of kitsch) at the home of an inamorata, it will not cause dismissal. Turfing millions of dollars in city work to close friends, on the other hand, will end his career. The best thing Mr. Gray can do to ensure HIS reelection will be to improve conflict of interest regulations.

Posted by: Martial | September 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

It was time for Fenty to go.

He was grossly impetuous, and unacceptably arrogant.

On issue after issue, including the "stowaway" type entrance of Michele Rhee, he knew his decisions would not hold up if he consulted with the Council, so he never consulted them. Bad move, fenty.

Dumb move, too.

He could have consulted with the council and STILL done exactly what he wanted to do. Then "that" cloud wouldn't be over him.How stupid can he be?

And can you image if Gray had been mayor and found some black woman (or white woman, for that matter) with no resume to be made publc.

All the people who saw no problem with Rhee's resume mnot being reviewed by the council, would be all over Gray.
We know that for sure.


Posted by: dredscott1 | September 15, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, now that Gray is essentially guaranteed to be Mayor, we can all wait with baited breath to see what stellar appointments he makes.

It's not like there aren't qualified black people who could fill every key position in the Mayor's cabinet. Black Washington and unions put Gray in the driver's seat. Time for him now to show he isn't an ungrateful and arrogant candidate who forgets the voters the minute he gets into office.

Posted by: millerroberta | September 15, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

White Flight my aunt Sally.

White people will not be sitting in traffic on 95, on 395, and 50, reading bumper stickers any more.

Their anger that blacks "control" THEIR city will this time be swallowed as they continue to redo the population.

They have found out that when they move in, those "awful" blacks are not going to kill them, rape their women and steal their babies and sell them like Gypsies would. And they can't nourish those stereotypes anymore.

Of course, since history has proven emphatically that whites cannot peacefully coexist as equals - no, they must be "in charge" - with any non-white people anywhere on Earth, we know they won't be happy until blacks and Hispanics together represent the smaller voting block of their beloved capital of the free world.

My white friends are not fleeing anywhere this time.

Posted by: dredscott1 | September 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Why did Gray beat Fenty? Why not quote what the people said. Fenty was tone deaf to the people. He stopped listening and was arrogant. He pulled an Obama, that's why he lost.

Posted by: houstonian | September 15, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dredscott1

"Of course, since history has proven emphatically that whites cannot peacefully coexist as equals - no, they must be "in charge" - with any non-white people anywhere on Earth, we know they won't be happy until blacks and Hispanics together represent the smaller voting block of their beloved capital of the free world.

"My white friends are not fleeing anywhere this time."
And you expect us to believe that with your attitude, you really have white friends?

Posted by: jprice2 | September 15, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is an arrogant and corrupt politician. We don't need people like him.

Posted by: jackson641 | September 15, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope you're right, but I will withhold judgment.

From what I've seen so far, Gray will have a long line of people who consider themselves entitled to call in their chits. And, frankly, a lot of those people give me pause.

I've lived in DC since before Washington was mayor, and for most of that time, the functionaries in DC government acted like they were in a post-colonial state. The education system was riddled with patronage, and the city council acted like a bunch of elementary school kids hiding the ball.

Sharon Pratt Kelly did get some things right, but it took ruining the city's finances and schools and putting in a federal receivership to begin to straighten out some of the mess.

Gray's carping about the people who were "left out" (of what, safe streets, clean and effective schools, functional transportation?) does not sound reassuring to me. All the parasites from the old days believe that they are "owed."

I won't believe anything from Gray until he shows he has the backbone to throw them out.

Posted by: thmas | September 15, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Fenty lost because of Michelle Rhee. Perhaps the good people of Washington DC figured out that she and her attack on teachers was misguided. What Ms. Rhee knows about education could probably fill a few thimbles, but she is no educator. I say goodbye to bad rubbish.

Posted by: jaycr | September 15, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

What happened last night was not that Fenty was arrogant it was that he ran the absolute worst campaign I have ever seen. Maybe that was a by product of arrogance, but as a resident of the District I couldn't care less if the Mayor's a dick personally as long as he's moving the city in a positive and forward thinking direction, which I absolutely felt he and Rhee have been doing with the schools. His terrible campaign/communication strategy set him up to lose because there's really nothing constructive the mayor can enact that will solve the more than 30 percent unemployment rates across the river. He was doing the responsible and big picture things to correct the institutionalized failures to prepare Ward 8 residents to compete and thrive in the reagion's growing job market for skilled workers. He failed to effectively make that case and explain the reasoning for his focus on reforming schools rather than token "jobs" band-aids that ignore the underlying root causes of a poverty cycle in DC.

Posted by: gouldpete | September 15, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse wrote: "isn't there something wrong when Mr Gray gets the endorsement from the crack head poverty pimp mayor that bankrupted and drove the city right into the ground?"

That crack head poverty pimp mayor also endorsed Mayor Fenty four years ago. So what is your point?

Posted by: khathu | September 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Rhee said, "Yesterday's election results were devastating, devastating," Well it’s not about YOU chancellor Rhee. By the way, Rhee you never burn your bridges!

If Mayor Gray retains Chancellor Rhee, it would be devastating to his administration. Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty were held accountable for their arrogant and condescending behavior toward the people of District of Columbia. Chancellor Rhee is incompetent and she end up as one the most polarizing figures in our city. She had no vision, just a narrow goal of improving test scores. Rhee’s legacy will be known for firing, threatening and intimidating principals, teachers and staff members. Rhee never had a plan evidenced by only 10 schools meeting the national standards. The people have spoken and this Rhee experiment is over. Rhee must be fired!

Posted by: hello101 | September 16, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm glad to know that there are so many honestly insightful and intelligent commenters (and voters) out there. Thank you, sincerely, to LetDCVote, Martial and others for their thoughtful posts. You took the words out of my mouth...May DC continue to positively evolve towards an increasingly beautiful city...

Posted by: CharmStar | September 16, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Here is a completely false statement by Mr. King: "Gray spent months...quietly taking soundings around the city. There wasn't a politician, pundit, community activist or civic leader who, during that period of quiet consultation, didn't converse with Gray about a possible challenge to Fenty." Absolutely false. Gray did not set foot in Ward 3/west Ward 4. He absolutely did not consult with local civic leaders in those neighborhoods. He never reached out in any way. He barely even visited during the campaign. Rather, he went to Wards 5-8 and starting spreading the absolute falsehood that Fenty favors the "rich" "mostly white folks" of "upper NW." He exploited this misperception and manipulated race and income level to turn the city against itself. That is the classic Barry formula for getting elected, and all Gray did was follow the formula. All he has proven so far is that he knows how to DIVIDE us. As for the schools, we know he cares of course, but when it comes to specifics, the only specific plan he seems to have is to drive out the one person who IMPROVED our schools more than ANYONE ELSE IN DC HISTORY. During the campaign, Gray villified Rhee, his supporters rising to a fever pitch of outright anti-Asian American rhetoric. Can you really blame her for being angry at him? In short, all Gray basically did was incite African-Americans to vote based on RACE. The polls prove that undeniable fact, to a PRECINCT. I invite Mr. King, Mr. Molloy, and others at the Post to confront that fact and ask the tough question: did the Vince Gray campaign cause or contribute to the worst atmosphere of divisiveness we have felt in the city in decades? I know they are accustomed to Fenty-bashing, but now he is gone. Are these journalists willing to ask that question about Gray? To inspire him, and all of us, to do BETTER in that regard? Or will they, as journalists wanting ATTENTION, just stoke the fires of division?

Posted by: gthompson2 | September 17, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINE" see news article,
DCist website: => Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
(with her ludicrous lack of proven
teaching or administrative experience,
her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent,
her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures,
her lack of basic managerial skills,
her lack of teambuilding to implement goals,
her lack of community development to facilitate progress,
her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential communication insight, and
her abysmal lack
of common sense.

Posted by: honestaction | September 21, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

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