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Hizzoner's Back

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, now running for the D.C. Council seat in Ward 8, signals his optimism as he departs the Wilkinson Elementary School where he voted in the District of Columbia's primary election, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004. A civil rights activist, four-term mayor, convicted drug offender and hero to the District's poor, black communities, Barry has emerged from retirement to challenge two-term incumbent Sandy Allen for the council seat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Welcome back to Marion "Mayor For Life" Barry. Tonight he won the Democratic primary for Washington D.C.'s Ward 8, effectively winning the November election in the process.

As I predicted months ago it looks like Hizzoner will be plowing the fertile fields of the District's Ward 8 in an attempt to set himself up for another run at mayor's job. If all this sounds familiar, it is an ironic but of deja vu.

Fresh off of his stint in prison for cocaine possession in 1992, Barry won the Council seat in Ward 8. He used his position as councilman to launch a successful campaign to claim his fourth term as mayor (his first as a ex-con) in 1995. Apparently a repeat of this strategy was in the works in 2002, when an incident in which U.S. Park Police said they found traces of marijuana and cocaine in his car effectively shut down his plans for a council run.

Two years in District politics is an eternity, and in Ward 8 it's plenty of time to rehabilitate your image. The master plan was not scuttled, just delayed. Journalists and comedians should be thankful for Barry's return - he provides a wealth of material. A long time ago Chris Rock noted the irony of Marion Barry as a public figure, "How are you gonna tell kids not to get high when THE MAYOR is on crack!"


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Comments (10)

"I never inhaled." <p... (Below threshold)

"I never inhaled."


*loud knee-slapping laugh*

"I'm just messin with ya. Hell, I just got done snorting lines off a hooker's ass! I'm your mayor beeeatch!"

(Sorry, thought this was a caption contest.)

Isn't there some regulation about drug offenses and public office?

True story:My ex-f... (Below threshold)

True story:

My ex-father-in-law was a physicians assistant at one of Marion Barry's prison stops. He claims that Barry would send one of his flunkie fellow prisoners to the infirmary with badly misspelled notes requesting aspirin and other medical supplies.

From a bio of Barry:<... (Below threshold)

From a bio of Barry:

He got his first taste for public confrontation and media notoriety during the city's 1958 bus desegregation drive. He subsequently abandoned graduate studies in chemistry at Nashville's Fisk University to join the civil rights movement full-time. Barry was elected the first chairman of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and came to Washington in 1965 to open up a local chapter. He never left, and became the most dominant politician in the nation's capital since Boss Shepherd 100 years earlier.

Seems to me a person who studied chemistry at the graduate level would be able to write a literate note. But, we wouldn't want to omit a sterotype, would we, Jim?

BTW, have you ever done anything as brave as oppose government power in the fight against desegregation? Hmmm? I didn't think so.

That said, I believe Marion Barry should remain retired. D.C. hardly needs the baggage he brings with him, deserved or not.

...and D.C. Statehood gets ... (Below threshold)

...and D.C. Statehood gets pushed back another 10 years.

I guess he's taking another... (Below threshold)

I guess he's taking another crack at public office.

The saddest thing about Barry going back to public office is that it makes you wonder "Is this the best that DC can come up with?"

After ten years, all that federal money dumped into shoring up the educational and social systems, they have to pull an unrepentant crackhead off of the discard pile?

Here are my first thoughts ... (Below threshold)

Here are my first thoughts on this (from my other blog):

stop that train - blog

I hope he doesn't blow it t... (Below threshold)

I hope he doesn't blow it this time. As we all know, it takes some serious rocks to survive in D.C. politics.

If you don't like the puns ... well, Laurence Simon set me up!!

"and D.C. Statehood gets pu... (Below threshold)

"and D.C. Statehood gets pushed back another 10 years."

But Bush was a cokehead ... and you can't get any worse than *him* ... and ... HALLIBURTON! ENRON!

Have a Coke and a smile.</p... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

Have a Coke and a smile.

Its time to head down to th... (Below threshold)

Its time to head down to the bar and ask for a Marion Barry. Equal parts Coca Cola, Kahlua, Bourbon and Jaegermeister. Invented by Jonah Goldberg, who described it as a drink intended to be, "So black, not even the man can keep it down."

Not to encourage stereotypes, but the interviews of Barry supporters on the news was quite a collection individuals who did not look like they were unfamiliar with drug use. Who've thunk that crack smoking could bring a community together like this?






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