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While councilmembers like Vincent Orange and Yvette Alexander have been delighted by Barack Obama descending into the District’s mayoral race to back Muriel Bowser, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is mostly baffled.

“It just seems so disproportionate,” Cheh says. “It just seems so out of sync.”

Cheh, a Democrat who has held back on making an endorsement in the race, complains that Obama’s interest in District politics wasn’t so obvious during the Senate hearing on District statehood. Ditto when the president dallied on putting “No Taxation Without Representation” plates on his limousine.

“Why doesn’t he get out there on the hustings and make the case for statehood?” Cheh says. “It just seems so peculiar to me to do it.”

Cheh isn’t the only person today to note the disconnect between Obama’s endorsement and his sluggishness on other District issues. At a press conference this morning, Bowser defended Obama’s appearance in a local race on the grounds that the District has overwhelmingly voted for him.

Still, Cheh worries that Obama endorsement opens the door for more federal meddling in District politics.

“It may signify something that we regret,” Cheh says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery