Bloomberg's not Democrat and doesn't live in D.C., but Fenty to get his endorsement

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on Tuesday is expected to receive the endorsement of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a source within the Fenty campaign — a tantalizing sort-of-fact that was first reported by the Washington City Paper on Monday.


Long story short

Bloomberg to endorse Fenty on Tuesday, but does it matter?


Bloomberg is — obviously — not a D.C. voter. He’s not even a Democrat (or a Republican). So why does the endorsement even matter?

Because Bloomberg is considered a reformer, no matter his ZIP code. The Fenty campaign — which has recently seen signs of waning support — is probably hoping the endorsement will shift more focus on the candidate’s record of change, and in turn stir some momentum.

So, will it help? Depends on who you ask.

“I don’t care,” says 41-year-old Krushae Starnes, an undecided voter. “Michael Bloomberg has done his thing up there, but he’s in New York, he knows what’s going on with New York. ... When our Metro’s flooded, he doesn’t deal with that.”

Believe it or not, Starnes wasn’t the only skeptic TBD found during its highly unscientific, admittedly brief survey of District voters, conducted two Metro stops from our world headquarters in Rosslyn, Va.

“He ran a bigger city than D.C.,” says Russell Lambert, 28, a Fenty supporter who lives in Ward 5. “I’m sure there was a lot more weight on his shoulder’s than Fenty’s, just based on the size of the city alone. But it’s almost kind of irrelevant.”

The two mayors have long been considered allies. In 2006, a then-candidate Fenty visited Bloomberg in New York as part of a tour of cities. Fenty, who is now locked in a tight primary race with D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, presented Bloomberg with a Washington Nationals cap and took the subway with the mayor, who was then a Republican in his second term.

Fenty also listened to Bloomberg's ideas of mayoral control in the public school system. "We want to be able to show the city council there are some specific things we will do and others we need to adapt for the District of Columbia that are different and not occurring right now and can show more reform," Fenty said at the time, according to the Washington Post. In 2007, he tapped Michelle Rhee to run D.C. public schools after consulting with Joel Klein, New York City schools chancellor.

D.C.'s mayor has even poached ideas about office organization from his New York counterpart. Fenty's bullpen-style workspace in the John A. Wilson Building was designed in a similar fashion to Bloomberg's offices in New York.

Not every D.C. voter was as skeptical of the expected announcement. Sarah Hutcheon, a 29-year-old resident of D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood, says Bloomberg's support of Fenty would "mean something" to her.

There’s a caveat with Hutcheon, who works in policy issues. Her former home is the state of New York.

“I think people who work in public policy would care probably maybe more than the average person, or at least would know maybe about these things,” Hutcheon said. “But there seem to be a fair number of New Yorkers here.”