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The victories are rarer and rarer for Still Mayor Vince Gray, especially that now Near Mayor Muriel Bowser can run her transition out in the open. But even lame-duck mayors can get good news, and Gray got some today by swearing in an inspector general for everyone to deal with after he’s gone.

A punchy Gray razzed new IG Daniel W. Lucas about his “tough” Navy deployment in the Caribbean and whether the audience will be so enthusiastic about him a year from now.

But Lucas’ successful nomination is about more than the mayoral ego—-it means one more Gray appointee will survive Bowser’s takeover. While Bowser can clean house on most of the last administration’s appointees, Lucas’ office’s independence and six-year term puts him outside her control. (While initially ambivalent on whether to change the Office of the Inspector General’s requirements so Lucas could take office, Bowser voted in favor of his confirmation.)

LL’s glad that the mayor got through his swearing-in jokes, since he won’t have many more opportunities to use them. Bowser wants her Council colleagues to approve only the most necessary Gray nominations. At a press conference this morning, D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson said he’s mulling which Gray nominees to approve with just six weeks left in the Gray administration.

“We’re still proceeding on a case-by-case basis,” Mendelson said.

While Gray’s prospects to get anything done look increasingly bleak, Lucas feels optimistic about his patron. In his swearing-in speech, Lucas said Gray, the subject of a federal investigation who was kicked out of office by voters, is headed for “bigger and better things” than the mayoralty.

LL hopes Lucas will make a better watchdog than he does a political analyst.

Photo by Will Sommer