Loose Lips Daily: The Other Kind of Race Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good afternoon sweet readers! LL apologizes for the lateness of this roundup, but felt like he couldn't miss presumptive Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's news conference this morning. Turns out, LL could have skipped the 90 minutes bore-a-thon just fine. Also a big thanks to whoever or whatever it was that gave LL and his pregnant wife food poisoning this weekend. Wait, LL takes that back. Screw you! News time:
Let's Talk About Race: Two articles this weekend on race. Kojo Nnamdi, writing in the Post, voices concerns in an article "For D.C., Vince Gray's election is a bold step backwards," about the level of hatred black voters had for Adrian Fenty. "I am nevertheless disturbed by the level of hostility that was directed at Fenty, the outright hatred that seemed to come so easily to many African Americans I know, a hatred that seemed even more extreme regarding Schools Chancellor [Michelle] Rhee." Nnamdi goes on to outline Gray's difficult task of moving beyond that hate. "Gray, the presumptive new mayor, will govern a diverse city. The thrill of his not being Fenty will soon wear off. He will be confronted by demands to continue school reform with Michelle Rhee and demands to continue school reform without Michelle Rhee. He'll be asked to do that without hurting anyone. Black and white residents will demand to know, without explicitly saying so, whose side he's on."
The next article, "How D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty lost the black vote—and his job" by Posties Paul Schwartzman and Chris Jenkins, discusses how Fenty disengaged with the black community (but what about the go-go concerts?), and it cost him his job. Of note: The firing of black school employees did not win the mayor many friends in the black community. "Although blacks and whites recognize the importance of the public schools as a vehicle for educating their children, blacks also see the school system as a primary employer, providing jobs to thousands of teachers, school bus drivers, administrators and secretaries. When Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee laid off hundreds of teachers, many blacks saw something more than a simple purge of poorly performing educators. They saw an assault on economic opportunity.
'He fired those teachers, that did it for me,' said Wilson Givens, a retired, black equipment operator who lives in Anacostia, in Southeast, and voted for Fenty in 2006. 'Does he understand that a job is a family's livelihood? I didn't know anybody who was fired personally, but I can relate. I know how it feels, and I felt for those teachers and their families. That was it for me. Would never trust him again.'"
AFTER THE JUMP: What's next for Gray; Competing Tensions; Management Lessons; Cabbies explained...
Can We Work It Out: The Post's Tim Craig and Mike DeBonis look at the upcoming transition period and find that "Fenty and Gray will have to work together to address a midyear budget deficit that some predict could approach $100 million. The men, who haven't had a face-to-face meeting for nearly a year, plan to sit down together this week. They must continue to run a city-owned hospital and determine the fate of dozens of appointees to boards and commissions who have not been confirmed." Both men have pledged to cooperate and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser says everyone's "tired" of all the conflict between the council and mayor's office. (Bowser, though, already doesn't seem very popular with the new administration, so she may very well be hoping the conflict ends.)
WBJ's Michael Neibauer looks at the competing interests Gray will face from developers, the business community and unions. Mogul Doug Jemal says Gray is "very, very competent man" who knows how important developers are to the city's economy. The D.C. Chamber of commerce also wants Gray to cut the reams of red tape that hinder businesses, while the unions want Gray to help protect their workers. "Gray’s message is one of inclusiveness — of 'One City.' Everybody should have a voice and a role in moving the city forward, he said after the election. But he can’t please everybody." Jonetta Rose Barras adds her two cents, reminding us that Gray made a lot of promises on the campaign trail that won't be affordable given how tight the city's budget is.
The Gray Lady tells the world that Gray is deliberative: Ian Urbina writing in the New York Times lets everyone know that Gray is a deliberative consensus builder, rather than a 100 mph mover and shaker. Slate notices this interesting round of no-comments from Gray's staff: "Mr. Gray’s Council staff members, none of whom would allow themselves to be quoted by name, say he is often the first in the office and the last to leave. They described him as even-keeled, private and deliberative." Memo to Vince: Tell your staff to use their names when talking about your good staff.
Yawn, Are You Still Talking About That?: The Post editorial board says, again, that independent voters should be able to vote in party primaries.
Is What Eleanor Did OK? Ben Pershing at the Post finds a lawyer who can vouch for Eleanor Holmes Norton's recorded phone message where she pretty much tells a lobbyist to pay up. "Kenneth A. Gross, a lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who has had clients in both parties, said it seemed clear to him that the call didn't violate any rules. 'It is permissible to talk about committee assignments and chairmanships,' Gross said. 'There was nothing in the message that linked the solicitation to a particular project. She was outlining some of the big projects she was working on. I see nothing actionable in that message.'"
Imhoff v. The World: D.C. Watch's Gary Imhoff scolds the media for misinterpreting what the race was about.
Chris Cillizza goes out on a limb to say that Fenty had a pretty bad week [Post]
Mona Charen calls Fenty's loss a "travesty," blames President Obama [Examiner]
What managers can learn from Fenty's loss 1) Listen to others 2) Don't surround yourself with yes men 3) Learn from mistakes [CapBiz]
Mendo wants to kids who get their bells rung to be examined [AP]
Colby says it's time for Rhee to go, again [Post]
Cabbies didn't buck Fenty over meters [Post]