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Coming in from the Bullpen: Hey, Isn't That Mayor Bloomberg?

First, Mayor Adrian Fenty made the pilgrimage to New York to see how Michael Bloomberg organizes his newsroom-style, no-walls "bullpen" office for top city officials. Then Fenty visited Bloomberg's reshaped school system.

Yesterday, Bloomberg paid a return visit, stopping by Fenty's new bullpen to deliver words of encouragement and a gift of four wall clocks, so the D.C. mayor can check the time in all four quadrants of the District.

Is somebody thinking about running for president?

Bloomberg is positioning himself as the pied piper of energetic, business-oriented big city mayors; he's adopted Fenty and San Francisco's Gavin Newsom as his proteges, and the New Yorker's visit yesterday was a chance for him to burnish that image as the innovator whose new methods of organizing urban government are being adopted across the country.

Bloomberg received a warm welcome as well at the D.C. Council, which hasn't quite made up its mind about how willing it is to go along with Fenty's proposal for reshaping the school system. The Fenty-Bloomberg mutual admiration society is fun to watch, but Fenty has a big political battle ahead of him, and the question so far is whether his restructuring proposal is really the point on which he should stake his honeymoon. There's tremendous pent-up desire for him to address the quality of what goes on in D.C. classrooms, but a restructuring that seems entirely focused on the shape of the upper echelon of the central bureaucracy doesn't seem to have much to do with ground-level education. Making that connection is Fenty's challenge in the coming weeks; the first burst of rhetoric hasn't done the trick.

By Marc Fisher |  January 10, 2007; 3:19 PM ET
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Comments

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Bloomberg may have a load of money to play with, but that can't buy him everything.

Posted by: Danny | January 10, 2007 9:20 PM

Those of us who weren't seduced by Fenty's two year walk around town to get elected are not surprised by his school plan. He never gave any indication of just how he planned to bring about any of his "reforms," specifics would have left some footprints to be examined. If you didn't much appreciate the substance of this initiative, you're in for a very long four years.

Sorry you had to find out this way.

Posted by: CW | January 11, 2007 3:01 PM

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