Have suspicions that Michelle Rhee might jump ship even if Mayor Adrian Fenty wins re-election? The Current Newspapers mentioned the very idea in its recent endorsement of Vincent Gray.
Put those suspicions to bed! Fenty, who met with City Paper‘s staff this morning to undergo the single toughest interview in the history of the world, said that he’s received Rhee’s personal assurance that’s she’s staying.
Here’s the transcript:
CP: There’s been some talk, mostly from people who are supporting your opponent, even if you win, Michelle Rhee will probably move. She’s getting married, etc. Do you and her have an understanding that’s she’s going to stay for your second term?
Fenty: We do. We do. And it’s not only an understanding that we personally have literally, almost verbatim….
I’m almost 100 percent confident that there’s no way she feels right now that she has done everything that she sought out to do. I think that is Michelle Rhee as a person knowing her both personally and professionally.
CP: Well love makes people do strange things, like move across the country.
Fenty: Fair enough. But I don’t think these are two people who would speak this publicly and strongly about their personal life if they didn’t mean it. It’s not just her, but her finace, Mayor Johnson has said he is committed to the relationship. I think they understand their import and their impact in their respective jobs.
And as I tell people: They are very young. Even if they spend another eight years both in the positions they’re in, they’re barely going to be 50, then they’ll have the rest of their lives to live together and do whatever they want.
Of course if Fenty wins it’ll be in large part due to the love affair some of his voters have with Rhee, so it’s pretty hard to imagine Fenty even offering up the slightest hint that she might leave.
Rhee, as you no doubt know, is set to marry Phoenix Sun (once a Sun, always a Sun) and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. The couple just made news by disinviting a bunch of guests for a big swanky planned wedding on Sept. 4 in favor of a more subdued affair with just family and close friends at an undisclosed date.
And the big question is whether Fenty is considered a close enough friend to have made the cut. “Uhh, I think the short answer is yes,” Fenty said.
What else did Fenty say? Well plenty. That dude can talk! LL and his City Paper cronies had a lot of good questions left in the chamber by the time the hour-long interview was over. We’ll be posting video soon, so check back, and LL will try and bring you the most interesting sections shortly.
Also, thanks for your questions from this post. LL didn’t get to ask any of them verbatim, (really, the dude can talk) but we did cover many of the topics you asked questions about.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery