The Barry in Winter Marion Barry is running for re-election. Is anyone paying attention?

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“Five minutes.”

Barry is in a hurry. The Ward 8 Democrats straw poll last Saturday is almost over, and he has yet to vote. After filling out a form, Barry goes to pick up a ballot—but there aren’t any. “How are they out of ballots?” Barry snaps at Anita Bonds, his longtime aide who also heads the city’s Democratic Party. More ballots are found. Wearing a green campaign T-shirt inside out because the event’s rules forbid campaign T-shirts in the voting area, Barry heads to the ballot box. 

“Two minutes.”

A supporter, Democratic Party activist Daniel Wedderburn, tries to stop Barry to say hello. “Wait a minute,” Barry says, looking annoyed. He’s looked sour most of the afternoon, which involved a debate with challengers Patterson, Sandra Seegars, Natalie Williams, and Darrell Gaston. At one point, Barry got into an argument with the moderator, ABC7’s Sam Ford, over the format. Ford wanted Barry to ask one of his challengers a question. Barry refused. “I’m not going to waste my time,” he said. Instead, he delivered a self-praising soliloquy.

Ballot safely deposited, Barry now has time for Wedderburn, who hands him a check. Next up, a man asks Barry for some money. Barry reaches into his pocket and pulls out a dollar.


“Gimme five,” the man says, over and over.

Barry hands over two more dollar bills before shuffling off. The man yells, “Who voted for you, Marion Barry?”

When I ask the man his name, he yells at me. Barry tells me the man is homeless. He says he gets similar requests for money at least 10 times a day. Sometimes he gives, he says, other times he doesn’t. “Sometimes I think I’m contributing to the problem.”

Even with the man’s help, Barry still doesn’t get the 60 percent needed to win his home ward’s official Democratic endorsement. But his 40 percent or so still make him the winner. It’s hard to glean too much from a tiny-turnout straw poll. Maybe it means Barry won’t be winning the actual race with the high margin he expects.

All the same, Barry’s opponents have gotten little attention. And there’s no glut of money flowing into rival campaigns from local elites. So what if the TV cameras stay away from Barry’s rallies, or the new insiders of city politics wish he’d stay away from national conventions and out-of-state lobbying trips? It doesn’t matter. Like any good politician, Barry still has his base, and he doesn’t need your official endorsement.

Back at his birthday party, Barry was heading home at around 10 p.m. As I followed him out the door, his godson Harvey handed me a note. He told me that a woman told him to give it “to the white reporter.” The note read: “This is the DC ya’ll trying to get rid of. But we ain’t goin nowhere. Barry 2012!”

Our Readers Say

Can you elaborate on this: "when Council Chairman Kwame Brown stripped Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells of his committee last year, the move was partially orchestrated by Barry as an effort to form an all-African-American voting bloc."

How would stripping Wells of his position help to form an all-African-American voting bloc? Why was Barry interested in the move? Or did Barry just help line up votes for Kwame's plan?
Only the grave is stopping MB.

Sorry City Paper, you ain't singing to the crowd and, as Cap City Records Panhandler noted, "only the grave will stop Marion Barry".
@Todd -- Great question, I was wondering that too. Come on, Suderman -- explain!
I am not fooled by the Travon case. Whites don't give a shit about that boy as too many black kids are killed every day by whites. This media coverage of Travon is acting as a distraction as blacks whether good or bad are being pushed out of cities all over by any means necessary.

Barry should leave on his own so the whites can destroy the rest of the black council that did not protect the black residents who were there and who are there now.

Much love Mayor Barry!!!
Iz you iz or iz you ain't the Mayor?
'Cuz if you wuz you ain't the Mayor now.
But ah be very sure.
That you be Mayor once more.
And then you my Mayor always be!

Marion, you be the fo'ever Mayor!
The fact that this fool has been re-elected so many times, and he has 100 year old grannies talking about a summer program in the 80's shows that blacks in DC have no power to think on their own

This joker has done nothing but make black DC look like buffoons for the last 30 years. Get rid of him

Mayor Marion Barry was a civil rights activist,long time serving mayor of D.C. i have a great deal of respect for, right now he's the under dog and thats who i root for each time he has come back despite what the establisment want, the establisment has never given respect to black leaders in this country , Look how clean President Obama is well educated married father and some of the evil racist republicans yell out in meeting and have seen their power fading fast and as long as the tea party who dont have a clue of how goverment work hold the republicans hostage they will never win , Barry has had his faults but he's done it his way he's been knocked down but has gotton back up and won the fight ,May God contiue to bless him and this great country we live in !
These white people thinking that they're are gonna take dc away, but blacks are pretty much aware of whats going on. They arent fooling anyone.
Its because people like marion barry whites hate,simply because he stands up in making sure blacks gets their share of the pie. Now because of that he is a bad person.Poor white people, Sick!!!
I think christopher should consider a career in politics, becase there is a lot he could learn from his father.He could began by taking over ward 8. His father could be his coach.

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