Loose Lips

Arne Duncan Cameos in New Gray Video

LL knows of no better way to start the week than with new campaign videos of varying levels of production quality. Fortunately, At-Large D.C. Council hopeful Nate Bennett-Fleming and Mayor Vince Gray—and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, sort of—have obliged.

Bennett-Fleming's campaign has the more novel approach, with the District's  shadow rep accosted on the street by various would-be constituents. Will Bennett-Fleming help out with their pet issue? Sure. Then he keeps walking, while his supporters, oddly, continue to stare straight ahead.

Check out the start of the video, where Bennett-Fleming describes himself as the "United States Representative for D.C." That's certainly one way to dress up an unpaid position not recognized outside the District government.

Gray's new video, meanwhile, heavier on the stock photos and lighter on the chest bumps than his last effort. While Gray hasn't landed the Duncan endorsement so sought after by former rival Adrian Fenty, he has the next best thing in the video, with footage of Duncan saying Gray's administration "knocked the ball out of the park" on education.

  • Thatguy

    Isn't U.S. Representative what's on the ballot and his official title?

  • Deborah

    You would think a journalist, of all people, would know that "United States Representative" is Nate Bennett-Fleming's official title and that Shadow Rep[resentative] is a shortened, unofficial version

  • tony

    Now that's what I am talking about!


  • SEis4ME

    Hmmm, some1 needs to work w/brotha Nate. This was a good concept but didn't come 2gether as well as it could've.

    Duncan's comments about Gray came at just the right time

  • Luke

    Not to be a hater, but, I don't gotta agree.

  • MidCityRez

    I like the concept of Nate's video. I think he actually will be a candidate who looks to tackle a wide range of issues that actually matter to DC residents. He'll be a good Councilmember. Got my vote!

  • SEis4ME

    If his website is to be believed Nate graduated the year before Obama won his forst election. He was at Harvard in 2008-2009. He graduated w.his law degree in 2012. It is currently 2014.

    I give the brotha props on his academic career but see nothing in his own campaign literature that places his professional or public service record above anyone else's.

    I don't know what an At-Large member can do specifically for East end. I do believe there are limitation to governance that many who support him might not realize. In a sense, he's the Muriel Bowser in the room.

    I can't recall who other black at-large members are.

  • SEis4ME

    And on 4th glance, I would've rewritten his bio because it reads like a Reta Lewis bio w/Boswer's experience

  • Mama Says

    My Momma said that when it looks too good, sounds too good, it is. This is what I get from Nate Bennett Fleming. I attended the DC for Democracy forum and Nate said he had 15 years of legislative experience. Come on now son, your only 30 years old tops.

  • Juggie

    He's 29 and a chest thumper. He just recently graduated, ran unopposed for the shadow rep spot, and just seems to talk a better game than his experience suggests he can handle. His bravado (especially at his age) concerns me. We've had too many politicians slip and fall over their enormous egos, and the younger and less experienced you are, the easier it is to get caught up. Moreover, he has had a DUI and a suspended license event AFTER the DUI. BTW--He still has not filed his campaign finance report even after being fined for not filing a report months late in a previous campaign. He's not ready.

  • Mama Says

    Damn, I did'nt know about all that!

  • truth hurts

    Arne Duncan was a big fan of Rhee/Fenty school reforms, which Gray's crowd hated. But now that Arne's praising Gray for continuing what Fenty spearheaded, Gray's using Arne's praise in a campaign commercial. One city, two faces.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    "Hey Nate", this is too funny!

  • DC Guy

    In a race where all of the candidates are African-American, except for Pedro Rubio, race will not place a role. Instead, one needs to look at breadth of experience and engagement. I agree with the others who have posted, that Nate will have a great future in DC Politics, but this simply isn't his time. We don't need another candidate that is all platitudes.

  • tony

    With success comes opposition. That's just the way it is.

    Nate's march to the Wilson Building continues.

  • Hah

    Lol at the Anita Bonds aliases trying to tear the young brotha down....Nate disclosed his Driving record on the radio openly, the DUI happened when he was in college not recently. Think hecstarted working for Eleanor when he was 15 or 16 years old. If Nate's problem is that he seems to good to be true...I think that's a good thing

  • SEis4ME

    I don't have an issue w/Nate's age, just his experience. I also think his "ego" (whatever that means) works for him. He's an intelligent, well-rounded brotha from East End. I say have as much ego about THAT as you want. I do.

    His DUI and suspended license is no more important than Patrick Kennedy's or relevant than Marion Barry's. Both are much, much older (and experienced) than Nate. Oh wait, he immediately went to rehab for his "addiction" and went on to be reelected. Silly me.

  • truth hurts

    Crickets on Arne's praising Gray's perpetuation of Fenty/Rhee reforms.

  • Smh

    I can care less about what degrees you have (if any), I care about what you've done and plan to do in the community. Nate hasn't done shit!

    He needs to wake-up too. Trayon White pimping his butt for campaign cash.

  • Greg

    He must be doing something right with all the haters...what has your candidate done?

  • Greg

    I'll take him over Anita, she's the worse council member I've ever. She has the ethics of an alleycat, been around and part of the problem for years....I don't see how u knock a young guy from SE that's a law professor, started a successful company, actually works in the community, while going to the top schools. I work on statehood and im with him bevause he actually gets things done. He's clearly the best candidate in this race...which doesn't say much.

  • SEis4ME

    If you care anything about the next generation of leaders (esp.East End) you absolutely SHOULD care about whether their academic pedigree. Whether he's done anything specifically for should be irrelevant.

    But that's exactly what may work against him as long as his supporters blackalize and isolate his whole purpose to SEDC. He would hafta get support WOTR to supplement whatever EOTR gains he might have...which may not be much.

    Bonds hasn't done any more or less than what other At-Large CM's have. DC excluded

  • tony

    Nate's has a viable path to victory which includes EOTR. And, there should not be any apologies for that.

    Nate has one of the most diversified campaign staff and that's a good thing.

    He has said repeatedly that his campaign is for everyone including the good folks EOTR. And, that’s the way it shall be!

  • tony


    You are right on point. Just ignore all the noise and keep on pushing Nate forward. You know, how we do it!

  • SEis4ME

    @Truth, what is there to say. We knew in 2010 that retaining Rhee's own deputy that Gray would continue Fenty's reform efforts. You must couldn't gin up another criticism and had to come up with something.

    Most diversified in comparison to whom? Doesn't matter what Nate says, if those who support him continue to make him te default EOTR candidate he will lose.

  • tony


    In fact, it's exactly what Nate say that matters. Apparently, tons of folks like what he is saying given the response. At the end of the day, they are the ones who really matters.

    Nate is going win this election by a landslide. lol!

  • SEis4ME

    Tons of 10 people online? Clearly we have two different perspectives on what constitutes "tons of support."

    Although I dont think he currently has the support to win, good for him if he does.

    Either way April will be here before we know it.

  • Luke

    If you weigh them, then yes, tons!

  • tony

    Man, there are going to be some mad people on Election Night when that native son from the Southside “shocks" this city with his victory! lol!