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DC Voters: Adrian Fenty: Not Black Enough; Michelle Rhee: Extremely Not Black Enough
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September 17, 2010, 06:54 PM
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From the Washington Examiner, on the Democratic mayoral primary in D.C. between the two cafe-au-lait candidates, young Obama-like incumbent Adrian Fenty and aging hack challenger Vince Gray, which turned out much like Obama`s loss to Bobby Rush in the 2000 Democratic House of Representative primary.
The Democratic primary results were clear: Mayor Adrian Fenty lost because black voters didn`t like him.

Granted, Fenty`s campaign was troubled from start to finish. His closest advisers say he didn`t listen to their calls to apologize to the public for running a brash, and closed administration months before he dropped his first apology in early August. The apology tour that ensued was far too late.

But at the end of the day, with campaign failings aside, Fenty won`t have a second term because he lost a big part of his base by running a four-year race for results with blinders on that left black voters feeling as though they were being left behind. The sagging economy only served to worsen the effect.

Fenty`s "lack of communication exacerbated fears of gentrification in the black community," the mayor`s campaign Chairman Bill Lightfoot told The Washington Examiner.

The city`s black majority wards on the east side of the Anacostia Rive helped push Fenty into office in 2006, but in 2010 they combined to give 82 percent of their vote to challenger D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray. Fenty picked up just 16 percent of the vote in Wards 7 and 8.

In the city`s two whitest wards in Northwest, Fenty took in 76 percent of the vote to Gray`s 23 percent.

Gray also dominated in predominantly black, yet rapidly gentrifying Ward 5, picking up nearly 76 percent of the vote. The race was closer in more racially and economically mixed Wards 4, 6 and 1.

The 2010 Democratic primary could go down as the last in which the city has a black majority. By 2014, population trends show, the District will likely have a white majority for the first time since the 1950s. In Tuesday`s vote, the rapid demographic change pitted old residents, who are mostly black, against new residents, who are mostly white.

Also, Fenty`s decision to make Korean-American Dragon Princess Michelle Rhee boss of the schools and the face of his administration struck the white guy national reporters as smart and sexy. But Korean-black relations aren`t always so hot, as this video from LA`s Koreatown in April 1992 recalls.