All About Politics: Fourth of July, Gillespie, ‘Treason’

Fourth of July Parade

All the pols were out in force for the Fourth of July Parade. Mayor Muriel Bowser had the largest contingent by far. She is running for reelection in 2018 and wants to do well in Ward 3. Last time she carried the ward with a whopping 63 percent in the Democratic Party primary.

That vote was not because Ward 3 was in love with Bowser. No, the reason for the immense numbers was that the Dems in the ward didn’t want the incumbent, Mayor Vincent Gray.

Gray, as you remember, was under investigation by the U.S. attorney general from the start of his administration. Gray got a measly 18 percent of the Democratic primary vote in the ward.

One keen political observer who wishes to remain nameless delivered this line: “The voters of Ward 3 couldn’t pick Bowser out of a police lineup.” That observer was correct. Ward 3 didn’t know her but that didn’t matter. They voted for her. That’s all that counts.

Bowser never fails to show up at Ward 3 Dems’ meetings and is attempting to make more of a personal connection. Her major problem is that she suffers from an “enthusiasm gap” (you remember that phrase).

There are serious questions about D.C. contracting abuses (read Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh’s report) and other personal problems.

Gray, I have no doubt, wants to even the score for 2014.

He was never charged and started his comeback by being elected to his old office: Ward 7 Council member.

To say Bowser and Gray don’t like each other is a tepid understatement. They can’t stand each other.

Both are very open about their mutual animus and profess their distaste both privately and publicly. A possible alternative to the two is Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine.

But Racine, if he is interested in becoming mayor, seems to be totally politically tone-deaf and inept. He is infamous for not returning phone calls — including calls from Council members.

At the parade, I witnessed a major faux pas. While walking in the parade, Racine was talking on his cell phone. How arrogant and out of touch can you get?

It was only for a brief time, but it should not have been done at all. Racine had nobody marching with him. He should have been working the crowd, shaking hands and introducing himself.

Maybe his hubris is so great that he thinks Bowser and Gray will destroy each other and he will slip through the middle and claim the prize. Right now, he is making all the wrong moves.

Gillespie: Going Nowhere Fast

This November there are two off-off-year elections for governor. One is in New Jersey.

It is a shame that Chris Christie is not on the ballot. He is term-limited. He is by far the most unpopular elected official in America. His Fourth of July beach outing made him a pariah in his home state.

In neighboring Virginia, there is another pol who, at this point, looks like he will be trounced in November. That’s charisma-deficient and bland Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie barely sneaked by Confederacy-loving conservative firebrand Corey Stewart in the June Republican primary.

A recent front-page story in the Washington Post reported that the RNC wants to have him use more “Trump strategists.” That’s the very last thing he needs.

Virginia has gone Democratic the last three times in the presidential election. In fact, it was the only Southern state Hillary Clinton carried. Dems hold the three statewide offices and both U.S. Senate seats.

Gillespie has tried to liven up his lackluster candidacy by attempting to be the “fireworks candidate.” Prior to the July 4 holiday, he proudly came out for loosening and relaxing fireworks restrictions. Unbelievably stupid!

I guess Gillespie is unconcerned about the horrible injuries that always occur with the use of fireworks.

His campaign needed a spark, so he went ahead with his proposal anyway.

Kaine and Treason

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) used the word “treason” to describe the activities of Donald Trump Jr. Take note.

Political analyst and Georgetowner columnist Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a contributor to Reach him at



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