DENVER—-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was late arriving to the convention floor and was not able to give the D.C. delegate tally from the delegation’s floor microphone.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton filled in with impromptu remarks, which local Dems chair Anita Bonds says Norton composed, with the help of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, within five minutes when it became clear Fenty might not make it on time.
Fenty, as mayor, is the official head of the District’s delegation, and Bonds says it’s “traditional” for the head to take the mike. It seems Hizzoner was delayed getting in to the arena, arriving less than 10 minutes late. After briefly greeting local delegates, Fenty roamed the convention floor before entering the bowels of the Pepsi Center, where he was whisked into the off-limits-to-press “Boiler Room” by his longtime political strategist Tom Lindenfeld to meet an unnamed VIP.
Fenty declined to explain his absence; the roll call vote had been moved up earlier in the day, Bonds says, and Fenty was trying to make it to the floor in time. “I was talking to John [Falcicchio, Fenty’s political aide], every minute,” she says.
Fenty says he heard Norton’s remarks on his way onto the floor. “She said exactly what I would have said,” he says.
UPDATE: The District cast 33 votes of its 40 votes for Barack Obama, and seven votes for Hillary Clinton. The Clinton voters were Evans, former Ward 8 councilmember Sandy Allen, Ward 2 gay activist Peter Rosenstein, elected Democratic National Committeewoman Marilyn Tyler Brown, DNC member Mary Eva Candon, Minyon Moore of America Coming Together, and DNC member Eric Kleinfeld. Evans, Rosenstein, and Allen were pledged to Clinton; the rest are unpledged superdelegates.