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Almost Mayor Vince Gray went on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt this morning to try and speak for nearly an hour without making any news. Mission accomplished, Vince!

LL jests, somewhat; there were a couple of interesting tidbits:

  • Gray said he wished Still Mayor Adrian Fenty would have been more forceful in telling his supporters to drop the write-in campaign.
  • Gray said he’d not spoken with Fire Chief Dennis Rubin before Rubin announced his resignation in the most awkward way possible.

Most interesting to LL was Gray’s unbidden defense of his de facto campaign manager and top fundraiser Reuben Charles. DePuyt brought Charles’ name up when asking if Gray had anyone in mind to be his city administrator. Gray ducked the city administrator question, and corrected DePuyt that the current scuttlebutt is that Charles will be his chief of staff, but said no job offer has been made.

Gray then, without any prompting, began singing Charles’s praises.

“And by the way I think he’s done a terrific job,” said Gray, adding that Charles was an “incredibly bright young man.”

“I hope people take the opportunity to get to know Reuben,” Gray said.

So why did the almost mayor feel a need to pro-actively defend Charles?

It could be from some of the heat D.C. Watch’s Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill have been putting on Gray in regards to Charles. Last week the watchdogging duo recapped much of what LL has already reported on Charles’s past (which includes unpaid debts in St. Louis) and said the Gray campaign has been dismissive of the “legitimate questions” people have been asking about Charles’ background.

The Post followed D.C. Watch’s story with their own story on Charles, focusing on his financial backing of former white-collar criminals who were forming a prison consulting business.

Then today, Brizill and Imhoff said the Gray campaign had starting keeping the press in the dark about Gray’s fundraising schedule in part because of “negative press stories regarding Reuben Charles.”

LL’s not sure that’s true, but what’s clear from today’s appearance on Newstalk is that Gray is still smitten with Charles.