By Karen Feld
Published on 2/23/2006
Mayor Tony Williams and celebrity tennis coach Kathy Kemper opened the INFO Public Policy Breakfast Roundtable yesterday; not with prayer, but with pep rally leading a spirited group of opinion-makers in song. Jerry Jasinowski, Doug Patton, Norm Ornstein, John Fox Sullivan, George Vradenburg, Charlie Brotman and Barbara Morris-Lent were among those who joined in a cheerful rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” After a 34-year lapse, some of us needed a refresher course on the lyrics.
Steve Lombardo, political consultant and INFO’s self-appointed resident pollster, announced results of the most important event of 2004 – among this group, President Bush’s re-election beat out the return of baseball to D.C. by only four percent (52 percent to 48 percent).Â That makes two near victories in a row for the president.
Another poll was taken to select an appropriate mascot for the Washington Nationals. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was the clear winner with 34 percent of the vote, possibly because, as one pollee said, he could exterminate the competition (referring to DeLay’s previous job). Two women tied for second place: D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. One pollee voted for Rice “because she will say we won even when we lost,” and another “because she knows what it’s like to go 30 years without a date in D.C.!”
The election isn’t until next year, but Mayor Williams, nevertheless acting like a candidate, said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for another term. Mayoral wannabes aren’t wasting any time when it comes to fundraising. Tonight, Council Member Adrian Fenty’s team (numbering 87!) “explores” his run over cocktails at the Kalorama home of campaign finance watchdog Marie Drissel, known as “DC’s rottweiler.” Fenty is one of four hopefuls who have formed exploratory committees; the others are Council Member Vincent Orange, D.C. Democratic Chairman Scott Bolden, and Michael Brown. By forming exploratory committees, these mayoral hopefuls face no restrictions on fundraising. Council Member Jack Evans, however, who is in favor of some reforms to local campaign finance laws, is practicing what he preaches: He’s exploring a run without the benefit of an exploratory committee.