City Desk

Gray on NewsTalk: ‘I Would Be a Very Different Kind of Leader’

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This afternoon, Vincent C. Gray gave his first extended interview as a mayoral candidate to NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt.

"I would be a very different kind of leader," Gray said. "I'm an engaging person; I like to reach out to people." He later added: "People are saying, 'OK, I will acknowledge there have been certain things that have changed; however, I still want a different leader at the helm. I want somebody I can touch, somebody I can feel, somebody I feel good about, somebody who is committed to the entire city."

Gray began, in a response to a question, by criticizing incumbent Adrian M. Fenty for not showing his face in the wake of last night's deadly shooting that killed four. "I think the mayor has to be there for something like this," Gray said. "The No. 1 citizen, the mayor, has to be on the scene to call attention to this, to decry the fact that it was happening, and...to talk about what steps will be taken."

Gray went on to critique Fenty's style, which favors action over collaboration. "That's the way you get the things done on behalf of people—dialogue, interaction, communication—it facilitates the work getting done." He added: "[Fenty] just seems very uncomfortable with people to me....I don't think the city should live like this for another four years...I think the style of leadership I bring is better for the city at this stage than the style of leadership we've lived with for the last three plus years."

DePuyt pointed out that most voters find the city to be on the right track, but Gray made the case that people still want a change. Citing polls, Gray said, "People even say where they acknowledge there's improvements in services, they distinguish the mayor from those services."

As for his own accomplishments, Gray recited his support of mandatory pre-K education in the District, as well as his stewardship of the council. "We've been the entity that has been fiscally responsible in the District," he said, alluding to last year's budget.

DePuyt asked Gray how he planned to introduce himself to voters, when some polls indicate that as much as 60 percent of voters don't know his name. After mentioning his penchant for meeting people, Gray unfortunately lapsed into legislator-mode: "Frankly, I would invite people to tune in to Channel 13. I have lots of hearings where people can get to see who I am, what the issues are that are important to me, how I deal with the public, and frankly how i do the two things the council does as best as effectively as i can, involved in legislation and oversight."

Conversation moved on to the big question: Will a Mayor Gray keep Michelle Rhee in charge of city schools?

Said Gray: "I think she and I would obviously have to sit down and have a discussion...I've worked closely with [Rhee]. There have been days when we've certainly had huge differences on the issues. On the other hand, that doesn't foreclose me indicating to her...I'd like you to continue in this capacity....It really calls for her to understand me and what I'm trying to accomplish, and me understand what she expects form a mayor." He then pointed out: "Her [soon-to-be] husband is the mayor of Sacramento, 3,000 miles from here, and I think she would be concerned about a 300 mile relationship. People get burned out in these jobs. Both of us would come to a professional decision at the end of the day."

At the end of the conversation, the Vince Gray/Don Peebles mutual admiration society continued, with the chairman offering nothing but praise for the developer, who's now considering a run. "I think he would be a formidable candidate. He's a very successful developer, he's a very successful businessman....It would be ideal to have a one-on-one situation. However, I think it's possible to win even in a three-way race."

Gray also pledged to a caller to make his tax return available for inspection; he also said he's had "no conversations" about an endorsement from Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry.

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  • Sally

    This is Gray's reason for running? He's more touchable than Fenty?! Seriously?

    His legislative accomplishment is a pre-K bill and running the Council? Seriously? Does he want to open up his great stewardship allowing Barry to siphon money to his girlfriend and the debacle of earmarks that exploded during Gray's stewardship?

    Is it too late to cast my vote for Kathy Patterson?

  • Truth Hurts

    Gray flat out lied in his first interview for mayor. Anyone believe he's had "no conversations" with Barry about Gray's mayoral bid? Regardless of what he and Barry decided (to endorse and alienate many white voters or to remain silent and risk losing some black voters), they've discussed the issue and Gray lied about it. Just plain lied.

    And yes Sally, it's too late to vote for Kathy Patterson.

  • Truth Hurts

    Didn't see Fenty giving television interviews criticizing Gray for not holding a press conference at the crime scene. Smooth move, one city, exploiting murder victims to score political points right out of the box.

  • WARD4NDC

    If King Fenty and Zombee looking Gray is the only two candidates we have to choose, D.C. voters are doomed.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    RIGHT!

  • aoi

    This is so sweet and caring. I love Gray already:

    " "Her [soon-to-be] husband is the mayor of Sacramento, 3,000 miles from here, and I think she would be concerned about a 300 mile relationship. People get burned out in these jobs. Both of us would come to a professional decision at the end of the day."

    So Gray wants Rhee to quit so she can realize true happiness.

    Voting for Gray is a two-fer. You get a mayor and a Dr. Phil clone.

  • noodlez

    Truth Hurts YESTERDAY YOU TELLIN EVERYONE TO RELAX NOW YOU ARE UP IN ARMS CALLING THE MAN A LIAR WITH NO PROOF. PICK A LANE AND STAY IN IT YOU ARE DRIVIN RECKLESS.

    GRAY WAS NOT EXPLOITING, HE WAS MAKING AN OBSERVATION JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY.
    WHERE IS THE MAYOR DURING THIS TRAGIC TIME?

    FENTY IS MAKING IT EASY FOR GRAY WITH HIS BLUNDERS AND SCREW-UPS.

    BY THE WAY HE GOT BOOED WHEN HE DID SHOW UP.

  • Barry’s Bitch

    Wow! What a bullsh*t fest.

    This is the man that said censuring Barry was the hardest thing he ever had to do.

    And he is a Leader?
    He has no platform other than "I am nicer than Fenty."
    "I promise to be more warm and fuzzy."

    Then, he won't even fess up and say "Rhee is a goner if I get in."

    No, he has to imply that her married life would effect her job. Like she is an over-worked house wife.

    That is like when Nickles called Cheh an "angry woman".

    These old G's are wild. I am suprised Gray didn't call her a broad.

  • Stone

    Gray has been the hot topic of the day. Many are excited that he is in the race and are hoping he wins the seat. He won't appeal to all, but so far he is appealing to most.

  • Dark and Lovely

    Gray and Reagan both have the same hair-dresser who are experts in keeping the grey to a minimum.

  • hymesb

    60% of the city doesn't know who he is. And half of those know nothing about him.

  • hymesb

    I meant half of the people that have heard of him...know nothing about him.

  • Typical DC BS

    Did anyone see Barry get told off by one of the shooting victims relatives on Channel 4 News this morning? He went to shake hands with a shooting victim's relative and they told him they wouldn't shake his hand and to get away from them.

    It was priceless.

  • Truth Hurts

    noodlez,

    If you think Gray wasn't lying when he said he'd had "no conversations" with Barry about Gray's mayoral bid, then you're a lot less savvy than I believed. Haven't yet seen anyone say they believe Gray's statement, not even you.

    You hate Fenty so much, it doesn't matter to you what Gray says or does. That's your right, but why not also answer this: Do you believe Gray's statement re Barry?

  • noodlez

    Truth Hurts I BELIEVE HIM. MR BARRY IS DAMAGED GOODS RIGHT NOW. IT DOESNT MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE GRAY CAN PULL WARDS 7 & 8 WITHOUT ANY ENDORSEMENT FROM THOSE COUNCILMEMBERS.

    THAT IS WHY PEEBS STAYED AWAY AND DIDNT ANNOUCE BECAUSE HE KNEW BARRY WAS ABOUT TO GET RAKED ACROSSED THE COALS AND HE DIDNT WANT TO BE LINKED.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Snappy

    Fenty is progressive; recoginition of a progressive leader happens 20 years after he's gone.

  • Fentygivingthecityaway

    I voted for Fenty last election but will not do so again because frankly what are his accomplishments? We still don't have statehood, the schools have not appreciably improved, and he seems to me to be nothing more than the continuation of Anthony Williams' policies which are leading to the further gentrification of Washington, DC. Soon there won't be any affordable housing in DC for low- to-moderate income people.

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