Editorial: Post should "Get over it" re Gray, Cheh

Photo by Office of D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh
D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh at left with Adam Rubinson, Gray's campaign manager
D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh at left with Adam Rubinson, Gray's campaign manager
Some people seem out of sorts following the election results of Sept. 14. But The Washington Post's endorsement of the unknown, untested, newcomer Republican David Hedgepeth for Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember over popular incumbent Mary Cheh is a puzzle, if not a shock. 

In 1994 Marion Barry, Jr., told white voters to “get over it” referring to his return as mayor for a fourth term after his arrest and drug conviction.

The Washington Post editorial page, chiefly lead by local writer Jo-Ann Armao, would do well to take this rather direct advice and catch up with reality when writing on District issues and candidates. 

In particular, The Post seems to be engaged in a transparent, hopeless re-fighting of the Democratic primary contest for mayor.  Vincent Gray, endorsed by Ms. Cheh, won decisively despite the Post’s strong, repeated, nearly hysterical support for incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty, because in the Post's view, Fenty is the only who could carry out school reform.

Ms. Cheh has been a thoughtful, responsive, principled legislator who has stayed in touch with her constituents (more so than her predecessor). She has been active with parents on school reform.  She has fought for good and open government, taken on overly-aggressive, anti-democratic Attorney General Peter Nickles and worked hard to improve our government and our city.  She has even had the temerity, from time to time, to disagree publicly with The Post.

We disagree with some of Ms. Cheh’s stands for more government regulation and her too-fast push for changes in how we run our elections.

But Ms. Cheh is more than well-qualified to continue to represent Ward 3 on the Council, and virtually certain to win the general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic ward.  Thus, the Post editorial page risks losing its credibility, built over years and years, as our newspaper of record and source of sound guidance on District politics.  Just as Marion Barry said in context in 1984 that he was going to be mayor for four years and would be one for the whole city, the Post should accept that both Mr. Gray and Ms. Cheh are going to be win on November and will be among our leaders for the next four years.

Mr. Hedgepeth is a serious candidate and is another step in the rise of the Republican party as an alternative political force in the District.  However, he is not even in the same universe as Ms. Cheh when it comes to proven public service. We therefore, without equivocation, endorse Mary Cheh for reelection as Ward 3 Councilmember.

0 Comments For This Article

Anonymous

Right on Georgetown Dish. Couldn't have said it better.

Ward 3 Voter

Anonymous

I offer another reason for the editorial board not endorsing Cheh. It’s payback for Cheh getting the Post to correct the record in an editorial on 7/27/10 for erroneously stating in an earlier editorial that Gray had “meddled” in school reform.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/26/AR201007...

Armao was ungracious about the correction and now the Post is getting revenge for being forced to admit an error -- apparently this is more important to them than journalistic integrity.

Anonymous

Cheh hasn't done much good, and whatever good she has done was eclipsed by the great mistake she made in her endorsement of Gray. There is little that Cheh has decided on that has had greater consequences than that choice. Politically, it was a very, very stupid thing to do; she has now hitched her cart to a Gray administration, and if its wheels come off, she'll pay the price. Gray was and still is the wrong man to lead this city, and if Cheh can't see that, she doesn't deserve to be on the council.

Anonymous

It is your comment that is over the top rather than the Post's editorial endorsing Hedgepeth over Cheh. The basic rationale for the Post's editorial is that Cheh, in endorsing Gray rather than Fenty, ignored the views of the overwhelming majority of her constituents in Ward 3, who voted decisively for Fenty in the recent Democratic primary election. She deserves to lose in November.

Jane Doe

I heard an interview on the WAMU/Kojo Namde (sp) Show where Councilwoman Cheh explained why she endorsed Vincent Gray. It was based on substance and a belief that Fenty's leadership was not right for the City moving forward.

What struck me was that she said the Fenty admin had alienated so many org stakeholders needed to get things done. Sometimes leaders make decisions based on their unique insider experience. Certainly, DC residents in Ward 3 understand that. I encourage folks to check out that interview if it's online. I'm not sure.

I am a Ward 6 voter but am exhausted w/the hostility and venom associated with this election. I agree with the author. It's time to simmered down.

Poll

Do You Favor a Gondola Across the Potomac?: