Kicked to the Curb

Adrian Fenty Loses to Vincent Gray for D.C Mayor

Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his bid for reelection to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray. Now his ambitious education-reform plan—and the job of its leader, Michelle Rhee—is all but over. How’d he blow it? Staffers for the once-popular Fenty warned him early this summer that he could lose. Focus groups said Fenty was oblivious to the needs of city residents, and his style was off-putting. They wanted him to apologize. So Fenty’s chief political strategist, Tom Lindenfeld, drafted a one-page mea culpa to be sent to thousands of D.C. voters, along with a promise to do better. But Fenty threw it away, saying he was proud of his record. The mayor was sure his overhaul of the school system, new police chief, and added soccer fields were enough to keep constituents loyal. Fenty, a strong believer in the infallibility of his own gut instinct, ignored warnings from aides and friends, and The Washington Post chronicles how the campaign slowly fell apart.