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Reporters traveling on Air Force One today asked White House spokesman Bill Burton why President Barack Obama hadn’t responded to Adrian Fenty‘s plea for help. Burton’s response, as reported by The Hill‘s Sam Youngman, today’s pool reporter, wasn’t exactly warm and fuzzy:

The president doesn’t get involved in every single race.

Translated out of White House spokesman-speak, that may as well read:

The president knows Fenty’s going to lose.

Also on board for the flight to Philadelphia for a back-to-school event was Education Secretary Arne Duncan, whose department has been pushing some of the same types of reform policies that Fenty and Michelle Rhee have been touting here (and which awarded D.C. millions in “Race to the Top” funding recently). Duncan was a bit more supportive of Fenty. He said District schools have been “historically the disgrace of the country,” and by any measure they have made “real and substantial progress.”

But he punted on political questions, saying he’d leave them to the pundits.

With friends like these in the White House, does Fenty even need enemies like Vincent Gray?

Photo by blvesboy via Twitter/Creative Commons attribution 2.0 license