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When Adrian Fenty was seeking re-election in 2010, his main pitch to voters was something like this: Imagine D.C. is a corporation and Fenty is the CEO. Now look at how that corporation has performed in the last four years: the school system’s better (maybe), homicides are down, city services are better, and life in D.C. has generally improved. Sure, getting to those results may have been ugly, and people’s feeling may have been hurt, but don’t focus on the process. In fact, ignore the process entirely and look only at the results.
That pitch, of course, was a dud. And Vince Gray, who insisted that process did matter—who was, in fact, Mr. Process—won that election easily on a platform of being more inclusive, a better listener, and an all-around mensch. His campaign slogan: “Character, Integrity, Leadership.”
Now that prosecutors say Gray won that contest with an assist from a $650,000 shadow campaign paid for by one of the city’s biggest healthcare contractors, the mayor is asking voters to ignore the process by which he got elected and instead focus on the good results he’s achieved once in office.
“I wanted to make the distinction between the campaign, which we know there are issues with, and governing,” Gray said at a news conference today. In other words, ignore the means by which he was elected to office and focus on what he’s achieved once there. Sound familiar? Fenty, err, Gray also told reporters that he has no plans to resign, and that he still respects the man he sees in the mirror each morning.
LL wonders if he sees the picture above. Just kidding—LL in no way wonders that.
Photo illustration by Brooke Hatfield; photos by Darrow Montgomery