Loose Lips

Watch: Vince, Michelle, and The Uncomfortable News Conference

Michelle Rhee said it best today by saying nothing at all.

The schools chancellor looked awkward, unhappy, and basically like she'd rather be anywhere else on the planet than standing well off to the side from Almost Mayor Vincent Gray as he addressed the press after their 90 minute meeting.

You'll recall, of course, that Rhee has been a major topic of conversation both during and after the recent mayoral race. Now that the election is over, guessing whether or when she leaves is hottest story in town.

Gray said he and Rhee had a "candid discussion" about school issues, but the big topic that's on everyone's mind—will she stay or will she go—didn't come up.

"We did not talk about Chancellor Rhee staying or going, we talked about the state of education in the city, and I think we should leave it there at this point," Gray said, adding that future meetings to discuss such things are planned.

The normally outspoken Rhee, whose willingness to not mince words has won her lots of admirers (and plenty of detractors), refused to say anything to the media, despite repeated, repeated, and repeated questions from a pretty brutally aggressive press corps that badgered her while she rode the elevator down five stories of the Wilson Building and out into the street while she was waiting for her SUV.

Instead of talking Rhee spoke volumes in other ways. She kept a healthy distance from Gray while he was talking, wore a facial expression that said "Dear Lord, please beam me out of here,"  and started heading for the exit even before the news conference was over.

LL saw Gray briefly in his office after the whole mess and brought up how distant Rhee's body language seemed. Gray seemed pretty upbeat about his conversation with Rhee (or maybe he was still riding high from his morning visit from Ward 3 Gray voter Attorney General Eric Holder) and cautioned LL into construing too much from body language and facial expressions.

LL's boss says the same thing, and who knows, maybe they're both right. After all, who wouldn't feel uncomfortable with a half dozen cameras shoved in your face?

How about you decide for yourself, here's a brief (low grade) video clip:

  • Body Language

    What do you all want? Some type of hand-holding confirmation. Does she not always have this rouge-wearing smirk on her face? I guess the next wonderment will be...why did she wear black and white was that significant to it being a "funeral?" I guess Gray...needs to have muzak piped in...and come out hand-dancing with his confirmed appointees. Was that Bruce Johnson...with the sound byte of being pissed-off "turn the camera around" As for leaving a press conference...doesn't anyone remember her first press conference when she was announced as the Chancellor...she jetted too.

  • Southeast Resident

    Unless she resigns on her own accord, she won't be dumped until Chairman Gray is installed as Mayor. He probably told her that he wanted her to stop the publicity tour and personal back slapping and to clear her personnel and management decisions through him. He probably added that as a going away present he is going to send her to take some management and personnel skills classes so that she can add one and one, and treat employees right for once in her life.

  • Indeed

    If I were him, I would offer her the job and see what she says. Make her be the one who walks away.

  • Isn’t It Obvious

    This whole meeting was a farse. Rhee wants to go; and Gray wants her to go. This little game they are both playing is not fooling anyone. If Rhee want to keep having people believe that she is "Super[wom]an" in wating (like the movie and Oprah both attempt to suggest) all Rhee has to do is keep following Janey around the country to each job he leaves or gets removed from; steal his ideas; implement them; and claim that she developed and carried out her plan for reform. That is what she did here in D.C.

    Please just leave. We want you gone; along with Fenty and Nickles. Per Ray Charles: “Hit the road Jack; and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. Hit the road Jack; and you come back no more!”

  • Tyro

    treat employees right for once in her life.

    The fired teachers and DCPS central office staffers were treated as the rest of us normal, working professional shlubs are treated: probably better, since they were allowed to stay on the job for so long at something they clearly weren't any good at.

  • What’s Next

    Gray is afraid to say he will be getting rid of Rhee because these two cannot work together. Gray is manipulating the public by not telling them what he plans to do, if elected! Gray refused to run a campaign before the primary and is still refusing to run a campaign where voters know what he plans to do if elected! The voting public should demand answers and the newspapers should be interviewing Gray to find out what he is going to deliver on in the next four years, and be specific.

  • The Cat’s Pj

    It is becoming very apparent she took the Newark job already. I would love to be proven wrong but it appears so. And if she goes there--that means she was offered it a while ago and accepted it then.

    She has to play this close to the vest--and awkard for Gray he does too. Because if I was tipped off (and I am nobody) that Janey was outed to make way for her--than he has probably known for some time too. This is a very strange and uncomfortable dance to say the least--and it is strange and uncomfortable on primetime.

  • hn

    Rhee needs to realize that she wasn't elected Mayor and she should spend less time promoting herself as the national savior of disadvantaged children and more time wokring with the real people in this city. I don't oppose everything she has done, but acting if she can ignore the input and concerns of everyone else who is also invested in the issue is unacceptable.

  • Typical DC BS

    All we're going to find out is that Vince Gray doesn't have a plan yet. He's still talking to everyone in the city, letting things simmer, then coming up with some mediocre "plan" that kowtows to the teachers union.

  • LOL

    interesting point PJ

  • incredulous

    Michelle Rhee moves to Newark, most notable for having a nearby international airport with better traffic managment than JFK?

    THAT'S why Facebook billionaire gave $100 million to Newark schools, as spending around money for Ms. Rhee? And Newark Mayor Cory Booker has THIS last laugh about sloppy seconds on Adrian Fenty? With NJ Gov Christie as the beaming Uncle watching Michelle open the box of jewels beside yet another Black faux-soulmate-groom/Daddy?

    Well, we're ready for the biggest surprise since The Crying Game. Or The Usual Suspects. Tricia O : The stuff for your first / next screenplay.

  • Brahmin

    Loose Lips,

    Can you do a story and soon-to-be former Fenty aids. They were much focus of the campaign. They too were perceived to be just if not more arrogant than there boss.

    They seem to be taking the lost ever more harder than Fenty and targeting Gray on chat board and his signs by proxy.

    I wish them look and having a Mayor's office on your resume does a great deal on setting up future offers--so there is no doubt of their future. And may I add--even if Mayor Fenty had been re-elected most mayor's change direction on their second term.

    Whats next for these appointees

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