In an appearance this afternoon on WAMU-FM’s Politics Hour, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty made as stinging a rebuke to his political ankle-biters as he ever has.
“The difference, I think, between a councilmember and an executive is, you know, I’m the one making the tough decisions,” he said in a lively conversation with host Kojo Nnamdi and reporter Tom Sherwood.
Shades of “I’m the decider” perhaps?
But, more than that, he gave what could prove an effective response to critics who say he’s too arrogant, aloof, and personally out-of-touch to deserve a second term as D.C.’s mayor: “We’re taking on issues that aren’t just tough, we’re taking on issues that are intrinsically not politically popular,” Fenty said, citing D.C. Public Schools closings, mandating at-will employment for DCPS employees, and implementing taxi meters as examples.
In a version of an answer he deploys often, Hizzoner characterized concerns about his style, his bedside manner, as far removed from the concerns of everyday citizens.
“When they talk to me,” Fenty said, “this is what they say: They say, Mayor Fenty, I want to you to keep continuing fixing the schools; I want you to keep driving the crime rate down; I want you to keep renovating schools, liberties, recreation centers. Keep building new construction in the city. I want you to keep the population growing. I want you to keep fixing up hospitals like Greater Southeast. Keep reducing the backlog in child welfare….They say deliver results because that’s what we elected you to do.”
In another portion of the show, Fenty addressed allegations of malfeasance involving allies Omar Karim and Sinclair Skinner and tens of milliions in parks contracting.
Without once mentioning Karim or SKinner’s name, Fenty denied any wrongdoing and called for ongoing investigation by the D.C. Council and city inspector general to run their course. Any contract awards, he said, were “completely removed from the executive branch of government, completely followed the procurement law, and very high-quality work [is] being done.”