Loose Lips

Andy Shallal Would Do It All Over Again

shallalAs he walked the perimeter of the back room at Busboys & Poets at 5th and K streets NW, Andy Shallal appeared energetic and confident, hugging supporters, slapping shoulders, and kissing babies. Campaign workers offered encouragement, telling him how much they've done to support him. "I think I got you some votes in Ward 4," one said. "I convinced three people to vote for him," claimed another.

News Channel 8 was projecting onto a screen, and joyous campaign voters cheered whenever his image appeared, booing other candidates and reports that don't favor Shallal. Early in the evening, the most optimistic supporters continued to predict victory, one going so far as to tell a young volunteer that she might soon be working for Shallal in the mayor's office. And for just a few moments, the room seemed filled with hope.

By 10 p.m., that hope appeared to wane. Guests packed up and headed home as poll numbers began to come in. Instead of addressing the room, Shallal, the consummate host, stood by the door and thanked them for coming, before sitting down for a snack. The  volunteers who did stick around began changing their tunes.

"It's not about winning and losing," one man said. "It's about getting your message out." No one would be specific about what they'd like to see Shallal do in the future, but they talked about his commitment to education and affordable housing.

Finally, at 10:55, Shallal addressed the crowd.

"It's exhausting," he said, "but if you asked me right now if I would do it again, I would say absolutely." He got in a few digs at the media ("you sell more newspapers when it's a horse race as opposed to a true democratic process") and guaranteed supporters that he's not finished campaigning:

"We're not done yet, not by any stretch of the imagination."

Photo by Caroline Jones

  • Graham crackers and warm milk before bed

    Horse race is just beginning.

  • joan

    Andy Shallal needs to run in the At large race as a non-Dem

  • Barbara Robinson

    I was very impressed by Andy's comments at the mayoral "debate" at 6th & I last week. I would like to see him continue to engage in DC politics. His clear-headed comments suggest that he could make a real contribution to discourse in this city. I like Joan's suggestion that Andy run for an at-large seat on the Council.

  • magX

    Andy's post-election address was really motivating and inspiring. He was not dishearted at all. He knew he had started a big movement which gonna get even bigger with time. He left his mark on peoples heart. I had been part of his campaign for quite some time and i had experienced the love n appreciation people have for Andy.Equality in education,housing and work is what Andy wanted to deliver. And i think he was the best candidate out there with new vision and ideas. Media was bought and was being paid by other candidates. Media didn't played fair. Anyways,we will keep working and in next election Andy will be our mayor.

  • DCPeopleWhoThink

    This man belongs with the politics in DC because he really can communicate and deliver for all people.