Washington, D.C.’s got a mayoral election coming up. As such, there’s no better time for the Washington City Paper‘s Alan Suderman to run a terrific profile on the incumbent, Adrian Fenty, entitled “Adrian Fenty is a Jerk.” Quite the thesis! How so?
Cops Think He’s An Ass: Fenty acts friendly to officers when there are other people around. But when it’s just Fenty or his confidantes, the mayor acts “very pompous and very much an ass,” rarely bothering to acknowledge the security guys’ presence.
Staffers Think He’s An Asshole: “He runs his ship by fear; people are afraid of him,” says one staffer. “He’s one of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met in my life.”
He Reportedly Thinks He’s “The Fucking Mayor”: Last December, according to multiple sources, Fenty kicked a trash can, slammed a door, and screamed, “I’m the fucking mayor,” after learning that some much-hated New Jersey Avenue NW billboards were being removed without his being present for a photo-op. A Fenty campaign spokesman disputes the details of that event.
His Social Skills Have “Room for Improvement”: “I think his social skills have a lot of room for improvement,” says Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander. “It’s gotten completely out of control.”
A Shriveled Up Caterpillar May Present A Worthy Political Adversary: “I’d vote for a little dead bug before I’d vote for Fenty,” said a retired schoolteacher at a recent Ward 7 straw poll.
The other side of the City Paper‘s story portrays Fenty’s abrasive personality as a plus, something that “cuts through the bullshit” of what politicians typically wear 24/7. And of a guy who’s overseen a period of supposedly decent living in D.C.
“The city’s population is growing. People are generally happy with city services. Murders are down. And there’s no imminent cliff the city’s about to drive off.
Not knowing much about D.C., besides the fact that there’s nothing to do there but run for office and smoke crack, a blogger from New York can’t weigh in with proficiency on Fenty’s record for civic change, though we can speak on the long tradition of assholes being able to get things done, for better or for worse.
This, however, speaks volumes to Fenty’s perspective:
[Fenty] self-consciously tried to style himself in the mold of New York City’s CEO-turned-mayor, Michael Bloomberg: steamrolling through adversity, making his agenda reality through sheer force of will.
As any New Yorker could tell you, if Fenty sincerely thinks its “sheer force of will” that has made Bloomberg’s agenda a reality, he’s pretty short of where he needs to be, both in perspective, and in his wallet. By, like, a few million. Fair warning: Know what you’re getting yourself into, D.C.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 19, 2010