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Yes, I’m undecided. It’s true.
For large chunks of the past few years, I’ve written nasty things about Adrian Fenty, his administration, and especially his attorney general, who just a week ago my editor criticized me for calling “dickish.” But the problem with firing one mayor is you have to hire another—and I’m still an agnostic about Vincent Gray, whose mayoral campaign, not to mention his past D.C. government patron, hasn’t entirely inspired confidence.
So despite the fact that it’s August, and there have been about 197 straw polls, I have no idea who I’m going to vote for: Fenty or Gray? Go-go or hand dancing? The athlete or the mathlete? The guy who appointed Peter Nickles (but built the awesome Wilson Aquatic Center) or the guy who wants Nickles fired (but turns to jelly when you try to nail him down about Michelle Rhee)?
Luckily, I’ve still got six weeks to make up my mind: Six weeks of campaign ads, endorsement events, candidate forums—and probably a few more straw polls, too. And I’ll be keeping an almost-daily diary of the various things—conversations with partisans, viewings of TV spots, lonely middle-of-the-night realizations and maybe even a rare instance of substantive policy debate—that might help me make up my mind.
Or, at least, make up my mind until I change it again.
AUGUST 2: I’VE GOT MAIL!
Today’s Event: Receiving a Vincent Gray pamphlet dump in my mailbox. I don’t like taking in the mail unless it’s the New Yorker or a paycheck. So I was at a real loss about what to do with the pile of heavy-stock, full-color brochures promoting Gray’s “Character, Integrity, Leadership.” I left the first round on a chair on my porch. The Blue Team obviously saw my indifference to their handiwork. The next day, campaign workers wedged even more of it into my front door. In two days, I got six pieces of Gray matter. It all went into the trash.
Influence: I understand that there’s a Ward 4 Dems forum/endorsement coming up this Wednesday, but Gray’s bland pamphlets (“We can do better…”) aren’t swaying me. For one, it suggests he’s fiscally irresponsible devoting so much full-color and fake smiles to one address. Not good considering Colbert King‘s assessment that District’s wobbly finances is the Key Issue in the race. I don’t give a shit about WaPo‘s premature endorsement of Fenty. But I do give points to the mayor for not stuffing my mailbox telling me about it.
Net impact: Fenty gains, mildly.
But: I really dig the “One City” logo with the District in red surrounded by eight stars representing out eight wards. If Gray had Fenty’s war chest, he’d be sending every voter a T-shirt with that logo.