Barry’s shrunken influence

The Washington City Paper’s Loose Lips column this week published a sweet photo of Washington’s former mayor Marion Barry sporting a trademark brimmed hat in what appears to be his own little patch of Ward 8.

Despite Barry’s dapper appearance, the column goes on to note that the seventy-year-old fixture
of Washington politics is quickly fading as a significant force in the city’s Democratic party. As the columnist notes: “His [Barry’s] public pat-on-the-back will do little to bring voters out for his chosen candidate. There is no Barry machine to get busloads of senior citizens rolling to the polls for Fenty or Cropp. The once-powerful operator has now been relegated to the role of symbolic political helper.”

It seems that city council Chair Linda Cropp was banking on Barry’s endorsement in the mayor’s race. Her staff is peppered with former Barry appointees and her own husband was once an aide to the crack mayor.

Now, however, Barry is leaning toward the favorite in the race: Ward 4 Councilmember Adrian Fenty. We’ll see what favors Fenty throws in turn toward Ward 8 if he is selected to be the Democratic contender (and hence the de facto mayor in this Democractic city) in the Sept. 12 primary.

Posted by Chris Stanton, News Editor

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