Loose Lips

Mayoral Power Rankings: Week 11

The debates are over, and now it's all about how much walking-around money is in your bank account and how many seniors are in your vans. It's the penultimate Mayoral Power Rankings.

Check back Tuesday morning for the final Mayoral Power Rankings, and follow LL on Twitter for live election coverage this weekend through primary day.

1. Vince Gray

What: This mayor's got stuff to give away! Gray has been on a playground ribbon-cutting spree this week. He added $300 million to build a new hospital to replace United Medical Center, even though the feasibility study about the hospital's future hasn't been finished. Asked about that discrepancy, Gray said that he didn't need the study because he knew a new hospital was necessary.

Meanwhile, despite taking countless questions about the shadow campaign, Gray still can't mask his unhappiness when his rivals bring it up. And that's saying nothing about Gray's mildly perturbed default look on the campaign trail, like he's just dropped a French fry.

Why: Along with pumping up his base in Wards 7 and 8, Gray's campaign has been turning other voters against Bowser by buying the front page of Express for an anti-Bowser ad.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

2. Muriel Bowser

What: Bowser has the TV ads and the mailers. But she also seems committed to provide more ammunition to awkwardly syntaxed Gray campaign attack site "Muriel Not Ready."

You can't miss Bowser's interview with DCist, in which she gets angry after she's asked to name two legislative accomplishments besides her ethics bill.

DCist: ...Two pieces of legislation, other than your creation of an ethics board.

Bowser: Why? Why would you talk to me and say other than the creation of the ethics board? That's just so ridiculous.

DCist: We've talked about it a lot.

Bowser: We have? This is the first time I've ever talked to you.

Bowser goes on to ask what legislation has to do with being mayor, which might be an odd question for a legislator.

Why: Also in Bowser blunders: her claim, during Wednesday's WUSA9 debate, that she underperforms with women because women judge one another most harshly.

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

3. Tommy Wells

What: New polls released this week show Wells doing better. Not "going to win" better, mind you, but good enough for what looks like a third-place finish.

Why: What should Wells do after his term ends for his Ward 6 seat in January? Leave your answers in the comments.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

4. Andy Shallal

What: Shallal is either in fifth place or tied for fourth, depending on the polls, but his campaign and loyal base of supporters are acting as proof of concept for...something.

Why: Shallal's attempt to get into the WUSA9 debate failed. Still, he tells LL that he opted against holding his own debate in the station's parking lot, which qualifies as some sort of victory.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

5. Jack Evans

What: Did Bowser cut Evans in line at the Wilson Building Starbucks? LL asks because there's got to be something behind Evans' eternal grudge against Bowser, with his campaign slamming her in mailers and, after the WUSA9 debate, a press release criticizing her for not promising to keep schools chancellor Kaya Henderson.

Why: At the WUSA9 debate, Evans claimed that Bowser would bring back the Adrian Fenty gang, a group so villainous that they "almost took the city down in 2009." But Evans didn't feel poorly disposed towards Fenty's wrecking crew in 2010, when he appeared in an ad on Fenty's behalf.

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

6. Reta Jo Lewis

What: Rock-bottom poll numbers haven't dampened Lewis' enthusiasm. Closing out last night's Sixth & I debate, Lewis took advantage of having the last word by erroneously declaring that all of her other opponents have been subpoenaed.

Why: While LL suspects that Lewis will be whisked away to international conferences as soon as Hillary Clinton is inaugurated, there's got to be some sort of place in District politics for Lewis' erratic energy.

Power Rankings Momentum: Stalled.

7.  Vincent Orange

What: Here's the thing about Orange. He does these incredibly brash, showy things, like suing WUSA9 for not letting him into their debate. But then, when LL asked him about the suit last night, Orange acted like he wasn't behind it, only saying that he had heard people talking about the complaint. People like...Vincent Orange?

Why: Unlike his Council compatriots, Orange looks set to end the campaign more damaged than when he started.

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

Honorable Mentions: David Catania's campaign, for successfully tamping down expectations ahead of the release of ugly Post poll numbers against Bowser. At-large Councilmember Anita Bonds, for holding off a bevy of challengers to her seat. Carlos Allen, for operating the least prurient tour bus that features a bed.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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