Where's Tony? Missing His Last 4th of July Parade
The Palisades parade is the political showcase of the summer, an annual rite in which the District's officeholders and political wannabes press the flesh, toss candies to the kiddies and present themselves to residents of what we in the news biz like to call voter-rich Ward 3.
Yesterday's parade was no exception; it was an election year bonanza of sweaty, smiley, sweet-talking mayoral candidates. Here was Linda Cropp in a t-shirt that pronounced her victor already: "Linda Cropp Mayor," it said. Here was indefatigable Adrian Fenty, walking up the parade route and doubling back to do it all over again. Here was Vincent Orange, on a Segway, his staff handing out actual, real oranges to a hot and thirsty electorate. Here was Marie Johns, the only mayoral candidate who rode in a car rather than walk the route; this did not go over well with the crunchy Palisades types, who otherwise would be her prime audience. Here was Michael Brown, somehow separated from his campaign crew, the smallest and least organized of the bunch.
And where was the mayor himself on the day of the last Palisades parade of his eight years in office?
Where he was supposedly helping to install a statue of Thomas Jefferson on a pedestrian bridge near the Musee d'Orsay. I guess they have a labor shortage over there.
Williams had to travel all the way from Turkey to do his statue duties in Paris. He had spent the weekend in Ankara attending the fifth annual Glocalization Conference, which was billed as a "Meeting of Civilizations" and featured our very own mayor speaking to the conference's Youth Parliament on the quality of urban life and the building of "a more peaceful and balanced world."
Williams came to Turkey from London, where he spoke at a forum on sustainable cities. Apparently, he is conducting a worldwide experiment to prove that a city is sustainable without a mayor who actually lives or works in the city he manages.
Once upon a time, the mayor made at least a pretense of explaining the necessity of his global gallivanting. Not anymore. The lame duck mayor simply racks up the frequent flyer points, vanishing for days and days, week after week. We are witnessing mayor-free governance.
Before his current world tour, Williams actually spent a few days in the District; prior to that, he had visited Seoul, South Korea for several days in June. Today, according to his official schedule, Williams is in Johannesburg, South Africa for the Urban Age conference, an examination of whether Johannesburg is a "world class African city."
Back in the Palisades, the five men and women who want to succeed Williams were busy trying to make the case that Washington needs a mayor who can work across the city's many divides and find a productive path that expands the city without hurting those who already live here. The candidates have a hard enough task without the current holder of the office busily spending public money to prove that we can get along without any mayor at all.
By Marc Fisher |
July 5, 2006; 7:42 AM ET
Previous: Scientific Proof: Baseball Edges Soccer | Next: A Teacher's Big Pay Cut--And Why He's So Much Happier
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Dude | July 5, 2006 8:45 AM
Posted by: David | July 5, 2006 10:30 AM
Posted by: Vince Morris | July 5, 2006 11:30 AM
Posted by: Glover Park | July 5, 2006 2:58 PM
Posted by: concerned citizen | July 5, 2006 3:41 PM
Posted by: D.C. Gov't Emp'ee | July 5, 2006 4:29 PM
Posted by: Palisading | July 5, 2006 6:08 PM
Posted by: John | July 5, 2006 7:07 PM
Posted by: Liz | July 5, 2006 7:50 PM
Posted by: Kalorama Kat | July 6, 2006 6:50 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.