Loose Lips

Adrian Fenty Kinda, Sorta Tries To Concede

It's all about process, now.

At 2:37 a.m., Fenty campaign spokesman Sean Madigan is one of the last people to exit the campaign's headquarters. He walks past the small crop of empty green chairs and admits finally what the last of the reporters have been waiting to hear: Fenty is going to concede.

"We reached out to the [Gray] campaign," Madigan says. He adds that he did the calling. "I called his people."

Even though, Madigan says, Fenty has Gray's cellphone, the mayor has not yet personally reached out. A call is being arranged for sometime in the morning.

More than an hour earlier, the Washington Post had declared victory for Gray. The mayor had just arrived at headquarters to shouts of "four more years." Fenty shook hands with supporters, offered hugs and high fives. There was not one last huddle and one last shout—"1,2,3, Victory!" Instead Fenty told the crowd: "We got a fight on our hands!" He wasn't ready to call it quits, he told reporters, until the BOEE had counted all the ballots, made everything official, etc.

It had been a long night already. Still, people cheered on their mayor. Unlike Gray's victory party, the only thing old-school about this party is Chuck Brown's "Bustin' Loose" blasting from the stereo. The volunteers are almost all young, mostly African Americans, who insist on dancing way past 1 a.m. Robert Bobb had made an early cameo on his way to Gray's ballroom. Does that count?

In the back, Ron Moten stood red-eyed and beyond tired. During the slow vote counting, he had slipped away to sleep for a bit in his car. When he woke up and came back to headquarters, he found the broken window and shattered glass—the aftermath from the Fenty volunteer who fell and broke the window. Awake, Moten just wants to keep talking about those grocery-store gift cards he alleged Gray folks were giving away to voters. Even yesterday. Even next to Union Temple. He tells me his son was jumped by one of the gift-card people.

Later, as Fenty makes his way through the crowd, Moten presses him about the gift cards. To me, Fenty expresses total ignorance of the issue. Go talk to Mo, he says. I ask Fenty where he was all night—his wife and parents had been in an upstairs office, mostly out of view. He offers "all different places." Great. I guess there's no need to open up at this point.

Fenty eventually, quietly disappears. We are later told he has left for the night.

It is my job to tell Thomas Johnson, 60, that his mayor has conceded. Johnson says he has been a Fenty volunteer for at least a year. He estimates that he has knocked on more than 5,000 doors. His last door came a few hours ago just before the polls closed. Now, he's one of the last to leave. His two young boys, ages 9 and 11, sit on chairs nearby. One has a shirt over his head. Johnson says he wanted his sons to see him involved in the political process. He stayed hoping for a Fenty comeback.

But that's not going to happen. Johnson sits by the headquarters' front entrance, clutching an empty bag of chips.

"What got me about him was his mass appeal," Johnson explains. "He had wide, mainstream appeal."

What could Fenty have done? "He could have [talked] more about jobs," Johnson says, "something about the economy. That would have helped him."

Johnson says he wishes he could have given him this advice. That's one of the reasons he showed up tonight and stuck around headquarters so long. Just in case, the mayor had some extra time. "I'm still going to talk to him about it," he says. "I still hope he runs again."

  • Grumpy

    LMAO...Grand Opening, Grand Closing.

    And he has 3 main points to thank for his loss: Overt Cronyism with, Nickles, Frat Bros. and Ron Moten, Disrespect of Dorothy Height and civic support groups, Treatment of shooting victims families in 2 high profile cases.

    He managed to piss off every demographic except his developer supporters.

    Now he can bike and workout to his heart's content now...LOL.

    For a smart guy, so many dumb moves.

  • http://CityDesk TONY

    Fenty has bad genes. Why?

  • http://www.CCCA-online.org/nextmeeting MRM

    See ya, Ron Moten.

  • larry

    Sad Ron Moten. The gift card schemer who probably jumped his son was Cora Masters Barry.

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  • Rain

    Fenty got what he deserved. He was a hollow puppet. He mistreated people and didn't know how to talk to the very people he would later get jail-house religion trying to reach. Everyone knew that if he'd won, he would have been his old self the next day. Now let him live as a citizen without the perks. Let him go back and bike and walk until he's blue. People are more astute to the collective power of their vote than ever. Cya, wouldn't want to be ya Fenty!

  • ABF

    DON'T WORRY ABOUT MOTEN HE CAN STILL LIVE OFF OF THE RESIDENTS 10 MILLION DOLLARS FENTY HAS GIVEN HIM OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS....AS FOR FENTY SAYING HE WOULD CHANGE......HE WOULDN'T EVEN CALL OUR MAYOR GRAY AND SAY....NICE WIN! CHANGE..HELL NO STILL THE SAME AND HAD HE WON HE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE...HE JUST PROVED THAT!

    HIT IT AND HIT IT HARD, OH I'M TALKING ABOUT THE ROAD BABY!!!!

  • DCexpat

    Fenty is 39 and has already done more than most of us will in our entire lives. I am sure he will be quite fine and perhaps even learn a lesson or two about politics.

  • Tom

    Where are the rest of the votes???

  • http://www.amamimus.com AMamiMus

    Fenty should be gracious in defeat. It would signal that he has learned something from this campaign...something that he could challenge Gray with in 4 years...but no. He continues to display unsportsmanlike behavior for such an avid athlete.

    Oh well. I hope that he has maintained his membership with the DC Bar, since he will soon be a private citizen again.

  • Cpap

    Fenty's big mistake was to think that he could ignore the people who voted for him the first time. He forgot that we existed and now we have let him know that we do. He also realizes that the new influx of whites into the city did not guarantee him a win. He expected the white vote to carry him for another term.

  • candycane1

    Hey Fenty:

    I THINK YOU BETTER CALL TYRONE (CALL HIM)
    AND TELL HIM COME ON, HELP YOU GET YOUR SHI/
    I THINK YOU BETTER CALL TYRONE
    BUT YOU CAN'T USE OUR PHONES!!!!!

    HAND OVER THOSE BLACKBERRIES! A$$WIPE!!!!!

  • Indeed

    @candycane

    LOL! Hilarious.

  • Indeed

    Over at the Post, it says that Fenty has conceded and that he won't challenge Gray in the general election. He also said that he will never run for public office again.

  • A New Day for DC

    Good Michelle Rhee and Good riddance! They used you to do the dirty work, now that most of it's done, they are tossing you aside and moving on...I did not vote for Fenty because of you!

  • DCJournalist8

    This is one of my happiest days in recent memory. What will top that is the forthcoming indictment of Adrian Fenty on graft charges. What will top that is his conviction or, at the least, his plea bargain. Then Fenty can no longer practice law because he will be disbarred. (Bring along Neal Albert, the city administrator, as your cellmate.)

  • Rob

    As badly as I wanted Fenty to lose, I can't bring myself to gloat over the Gray victory. Mayor-elect Gray and the citizens of the District now must go about the work of creating true educational reform and working together to help this city move forward.

  • You all should be ashamred of your self

    I find it ironic how you all including Chairman Gray (he is not Mayor until next year) can talk about Character, Integrity and Leadership yet run a negative campaign. I don't understand how you all can talk about leadership and about the type of guy he is but still continue to be evil, hateful and disrespectful of him and his family. If you all truly believe the hype that you claim your behavior would show it but as always folks just talk a good game.

  • DCJournalist8

    Hey, Adrian, how is that Obama non-endorsement working for ya?

  • rejoicing

    Hey Candycane 1, he can't call Tyrone...he screwed him too and he defected to Gray's camp...Perhaps, the Clean-up Woman will take his call. lol

  • ThomDC

    Somewhere Alex Evans must be smiling broadly. Never stopped thinking about you Alex, hope you are doing well.

  • candycane1

    @rejoicing: LOL

  • Princess Diana

    To Adrian Fenty & Michelle Rhee: KARMA IS FOR REAL!!!

  • 2Belinda

    Wow it was a beautiful day in DC.

  • WARD4NDC

    "OH HAPPY DAY", by Edwin Hawkins is now my them song. We the black Ward 4 voters made King Fenty. His head got too big for him and he kick many of us to the curb. To the white racist liberal Democrats and to the racist crackers living in the suburbs making negative comments, this mayoral race wasn't about Marion Barry. Vincent Gray is a different person and I think he will not govern like Marion Barry. How would whites in America feel if we compared all white politicians as the same, for instance George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, etc. It was liberal white Moman Democratic Senator Harry Reid that came out his mouth by saying whites in America feel only comfortable with light skin articulate Negroes. This comment in itself was very racist by this white U.S. Senator. I didn't hear any of the whites on this blog or on the Washington Post blog make any comments about Senator Reid's comment because they know this is how the majority of whites feel in America, regardless if they are Democrat, Independent, Republican, Jewish, Catholic, gay, or straight.

  • Steve

    Fenty...goodbye..se u later...Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. Arrogance played a big part inhis departure. The baseball ticket situation was a big key, not just because he kept them all and would not give the council its part as was agreed but when questioned by reporters on Tv he would not even answer the questions about it which showed to the people he was above answering questions about his shady dealings and did not care. Good bye leave town.

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  • Trinity103

    Congratulations to Mayor Elect Gray. I am appalled at the Education System in Washington, D.C.. As a product of the DC Public School System, we continue to get outsiders who really don't understand the students who are in the system. Michelle Rhee is no exception. The same outsiders wish she would stay, because as usual the teachers would be blamed. The majority of the teachers are not the problem, it is what they are teaching, and how they are required to teach. Many students understand that they are being short changed and underestimated. The problem lies in people who don't identify with the cultural relevance that students are missing. Apparently, the Chavez schools understand this concept. Mayor Gray has to revert back to reform of this system when it worked, and was also predominantly African American. All students regardless of race deserve an equitable education, and the diverse DC System is no exception.

  • Jim

    WARD4NDC, sounds like you are the racist.

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