“I don’t know the details of any scheduling.”

—Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Sept. 3

In what developed into the political boner of the year, Fenty’s administration in early August dispatched a letter to Cora Masters Barry, evicting her nonprofit organization from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center—the facility it built. Certainly good reasons existed for ousting the prickly ex-first-lady from her fuzzy-ball fiefdom on Mississippi Avenue SE. But Fenty never explained them, and legally, he had no grounds for the power move, a judge later made clear. But the signature misstep of Fenty’s came when he refused to meet with a pair of high-profile Barry allies—poet Maya Angelou and civil-rights icon Dorothy Height—and then provided the above explanation to WJLA-TV. It was a massive diss that has resounded through black Washington, and one Fenty will hear plenty about on the campaign trail in 2010.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

More from LL’s Quotes of 2009