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THE NEWS:

Mayor Muriel Bowser seems to believe that the only Democrat running for president who can defeat Donald Trump this November is Mike Bloomberg.

Bloomberg—one of the 12 wealthiest people in the United States—jumped in the presidential race in November 2019. (Unsurprisingly.) The former New York mayor, along with other billionaire candidate Tom Steyer, has been spending a lot of money so far but is still polling behind other Democrats vying for the nomination. Per NPR, “the two self-funding billionaire candidates… together have spent more on ads than all of the other Democratic candidates combined through Jan. 13.” 

But Bowser is confident in her decision to endorse Bloomberg. She will even be a national campaign co-chair. 

Why? Bloomberg just backed D.C. statehood. Loose Lips reporter Mitch Ryals attended an endorsement event on H Street NE Thursday afternoon to try to understand. 

“I’ve known Mike for many years, and I know first hand his commitment to making cities stronger, even more prosperous, and more inclusive,” said Bowser at the event. 

Ryals notes her predecessor and mentor, Adrian Fenty, has long been a Bloomberg fan, emulating some of his policies and political strategies when he was mayor of D.C. Bowser is such a fan, she excused Bloomberg’s “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that he pursued for a decade and that resulted in the disproportionate stopping of black and brown New Yorkers. 

Others rationalized yesterday’s endorsement by noting the mayors’ shared vision. As Bill Myers writes for the Washington Examiner, Bloomberg and Bowser bond over the “public-private partnership gravy train.” 

It’s unclear if the mayor is in sync with D.C. residents on this one. No councilmember plans to vote for Bloomberg, at least no one has said so publicly yet, Ryals reports. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  

  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • D.C. statehood is getting a congressional vote for the first time in over a decade. [DCist]

  • Opioid deaths are spiking again in D.C. [Post]

  • At-Large Councilmember Robert White introduces emergency legislation to keep Washington Met temporarily open. Meanwhile, At-Large Councilmember David Grosso, who chairs the education committee, and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson express skepticism of the bill. Students will be at the Wilson Building Friday and Tuesday, hoping to get support for the bill. [Twitter, Post, Twitter]  

  • Part of Barry Farm has been named a historic landmark. [WAMU]  

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Attorney General William Barr names one of his closest advisers to be the new interim U.S. Attorney for D.C., Timothy Shea. [WTOP]

  • None of the 12 D.C. councilmembers think Jack Evans should run again. [DCist]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser declared Jan. 30 Gwen Ifill Day, to honor the esteemed journalist. [WAMU]

  • The feds won’t charge Park Police officers in Bijan Ghaisar fatal shooting; but the new Fairfax County prosecutor is investigating. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

Y&H is out of the office. 

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Liz At Large: “Tired” [WCP]

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns at Arena Stage artfully adapts its source material. [WCP]

  • Inside the intensity of being a D.C. news photographer. [Washingtonian]

  • Rep Stage announces its four-play 2020–2021 season. [DC Theatre Scene]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Bradley Beal’s All-Star snub elicits anger and disappointment. [WCP]

  • Robert “Big Rob” Gillespie’s association with the D.C. United supporters groups hasn’t just made him a major part of the D.C. soccer community. It’s keeping him alive as he battles cancer, writes City Paper contributor Seth Vertelney. [WCP]

  • A list of Super Bowl prop bets for this Sunday. [Post]

  • Anthony Cowan Jr. was once again the difference maker for the Maryland men’s basketball team, scoring 31 points in a win against No. 18 Iowa. [NBC Sports Washington]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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