Fenty Should Run as a Republican

“I think even the mayor will admit that the schools have been so neglected that we're really talking about peanuts in terms of making them look like we want to educate children.”
The primary this week with Adrian Fenty losing convincingly to Vincent Gray was more a referendum on Fenty's personality that on his performance.

That's why I think he deserves a second chance, as a Republican.

Why not, more than 800 Republicans wrote him in and Fenty has until 4:45 pm today to accept the Republican nomination.

Credit: J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo: Andrew Harrer/Getty Images
Fenty lost the primary by less than 10,000 votes.  There are about 29,000 registered Republicans and 73,000 voters registered with no party in DC.   If you assume that everyone who voted for Fenty on Tuesday will vote for him again in November, then he has two months to apologize and appeal to the masses who turned up against him and significantly close the gap or possibly win.

Could he pull it off?  This would be a huge and historic challenge but fortunately not without precedent.  In 2006, former Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman was defeated in the Democratic Primary by Ned Lamont in Connecticut.  But by switching to become an Independent, Lieberman pulled it off defeating both Lamont and the Republican challenger.

But wouldn't Fenty be labelled as a traitor?  Take the renowned quote by Lieberman himself:
"I'm a loyal Democrat by I have loyalties to my state and my country."
Fenty had asked President Obama to endorse him.   The White House decided against this.  Obama, who Fenty widely endorsed in the early days of the Presidential election has turned him down.

I don't know about you, but I elect officials based on whether or not they get the job done, even if that means taking on an uphill battle. When running races, it's all about performance. I don't care what you like or whether or not you disrespected me.  The same should apply for our political leaders.

I know Fenty was considered arrogant.  I know many times he just didn't listen.  But he did a great job running the city, was honest and he did great things for our schools, for our community, for our safety and well-being.  But not listening to your constituents to your Council makes you a poor politician and that's what Fenty is guilt of, still not compelling enough to make him a one-termer.

After an embarrassing defeat (in 35 years only once has an incumbent mayor lost reelection bid -- Sharon Pratt to Marion Barry in 1994), Fenty has definitely learned a lesson on management and will certainly change his ways.

Certainly Fenty can run again in the future, but the best chances for a real and lasting education reform that both Fenty/Rhee and Obama's administration are pushing is right now.

Fenty did say Wed, that he will not run again for Mayor.  However, as a fellow triathlete, I can attest that Fenty runs a hard race.  If he's behind in the swim, then he will catch up on the bike.  If he's behind in the bike, there's always the 10 km run.  Fenty lost the primary, but there's always the November election.

How about the values?  Would Fenty have to change his campaign priorities as a Republican -- not at all.

The only thing Fenty needs to change is his public perception.  The most important value he needs to embrace is his commitment to lasting and meaningful school reform

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