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What Loose Lips (6/19) characterizes as “strife” and “tension” in the Kevin Chavous campaign, those of us who have actually seen firsthand recognize as the energy of democracy at work. Would Lips prefer a campaign of boring conformity and low energy?
The Chavous team has a lot of talent, ideas, and commitment. You put those together in the crucible of a campaign, and it is liable to look like a “brawl” to a casual outsider (and Lips is nothing if not casual in his observations from the outside). Add to this that Lips and City Paper seem hellbent on undermining the Chavous candidacy just as the mayor’s race leaves the starting gate. Is it because all the talk around town is that it already looks like a two-man race: Chavous and the bow-tied one?
The amazing thing is that City Paper and the Washington Post seem to have found common ground at last: They both seem to think it’s a waste of time to even have a campaign and have all but declared Tony (the paper-pushing kind of tiger) Williams the winner. How else to interpret Lips’ remark (6/12) that “the activists who distrust Williams will have to eat crow…during the new mayor’s first term”? Or to explain the prayerful visage of Williams splashed across almost the entirety of the top of the Post’s Style section front page, capping a story of unbridled adulation?
Why would the media rush to genuflect before this interloping political novice? Are they so in love with metaphors that they prefer them to straight answers? Is it the charm of the unknown and novel? My preferred theory is that LL and the rest of the media are just being capricious. So much fun to play God and then report on the sorry effects of your own mischief.
At least Lips acknowledges that Chavous is the “most focused” candidate, “forceful” and “particularly persuasive,” with “a clear message.” Could it be that all of these strengths are themselves in part the result of the feistiness inside his campaign, a feistiness I submit is born of our diversity, not our egos? As a volunteer I’ve worked and met with Blair Talmadge and Vickey Wilcher and Ron Magnus and Ike Fulwood, among others. Where Lips sees rivalry and conflict, I see a will to do something right for the people of the District of Columbiaall the people, for a change.
But then Lips always has had trouble with diversity. I guess he thinks it’s messy. The Chavous campaign thrives on it. Visit Chavous headquarters and you’ll probably see a cross-section of the citynot only those on Lips’ list, but also the likes of volunteers like Carole Clark (Dave Clarke’s widow) and Peter Schott, any of a number of Latino leaders, even seeming opposites like Adams Morgan business leader Pat Patrick and community activist Steve Coleman, who may oppose each other on some issues (public parking facilities in Adams Morgan comes to mind) but have found agreement with the rest of us on one overriding point: If this city is to thrive, it needs a mayor who will pay attention to its neighborhoods’ needs, not only the wish list of downtown developers.
via the Internet