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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Don’t Abuse the Props at Photo Ops

    There is nothing quite so unsettling as a sore winner. Vincent Gray won the Democratic primary for DC mayor last week. In Washington, that amounts to winning the November election.

    Gray is just biding his time until voters make official in the general election what everyone already knows — that he will soon be in charge.

    While waiting, Gray is holding meetings to get him ready to rule.

    On Thursday, Gray met with DC schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee who was an active supporter of Gray’s opponent — outgoing Mayor Adrian Fenty.

    Rhee went so far as to say publicly that Gray’s primary victory was “devastating for the school children of Washington, DC.” She has about as much chance of being retained in a Gray administration has Lindsay Lohan does of being nominated for the Supreme Court.

    After the meeting Gray came out to meet the media — and Rhee was forced to stand in a corner — like a naughty school girl – listening to the presumptive mayor-elect say that:

    “We did not talk about Chancellor Rhee staying or going. We talked about the state of education in the city.”

    The media described Rhee as appearinging “shaken,” “close to tears,” and “looked awkward, unhappy, and basically like she’d rather be anywhere else on the planet.”

    You can see the scene in the raw video below.

    View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

    It is hard to believe that, at a minimum, Gray didn’t let Rhee know that she had flunked the retention test. He has every right to appoint his own team — and we can’t blame him for wanting a schools chief who doesn’t start out thinking that Gray’s election is “devastating.”

    But making Rhee stand in the corner with a metaphorical dunce cap sends all the wrong signals. Gray should have met with her privately — allowed her to leave the area — and only then come out before the press.

    His treatment of Rhee was uncalled for.  We hope he acts with a little more class when his job becomes official.



  • Snowball’s Chance

    Bad weather doesn’t always bring out the best in people.  Take the incident on Saturday when Washington, D.C. was being pelted with nearly two feet of snow.  A group of young people started a snowball fight in the nation’s capital and made the mistake of hitting a Hummer driven by a plain clothes District cop with a couple snowballs.

    The cop, without identifying himself, reportedly got out of his vehicle and drew his service pistol. It is actually more than “reportedly” since the officer admits doing so in video which quickly went viral.

    Today’s Washington Post reports that DC police have put the officer on desk duty but they refuse to identify him.  Duh.  In the video the officer identifies himself as Detective Baylor.  What secret is the DC police trying to keep?  It won’t take long before someone who knows the man shown in the video to provide his full name (and most likely home address).  Chances are whomever tosses out the details won’t be a fan of “Detective Baylor” (and judging by his actions we’re betting this isn’t his first slip — losing his cool).

    Lesson for the DC police — only try to keep secret those things that (a) need to be kept secret and (b) that you have a snowball’s chance in hell of keeping out of the media.  Neither apply in this case.