August 12: Fenty Attacks!
Today’s Event: The mayor’s negative ad drops, attacking Gray’s record running the Department of Human Services in the early 1990s. One of my sources sends me a YouTube link to the ad with this angry note: “Does Fenty have room to talk here?” He apparently doesn’t: In fact, Fenty doesn’t talk at all in the ad, instead choosing to let the mournful piano music, negative headlines, unflattering pictures, and a stern female narrator testify against Gray. But, for me, an ad about how bad homeless-services were under Gray only backfires. It reminds me what a horrible job Fenty is doing with homeless children.
Influence: Huge. Fenty’s homeless services still include many of the same symbols from that era: inhumane warehousing, trailers behind high fences, and indigent families sleeping in cars or being put up in hotels. D.C. General is Fenty’s D.C. Village—-just another notorious facility housing homeless families.
Net impact: Leaning Gray.
But: Ad also shows Fenty talking and laughing with average residents. See, he’s changed!