Just finished reading Mike DeBonis’ column, “Consultant’s postmortem: Fenty became ‘flawed and expendable’”:
Bill Knapp — the veteran political communications consultant, whose business partner Anita Dunn consulted for both Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee — has come forward to explain to Democratic operatives that this was more about Fenty’s preternaturally bad communications instinct than a latent anti-incumbent mood…
Fenty lost, Knapp writes, because he “neglected a critical base” and “symbolic of that was the Sunday before the election when he participated in a triathlon in DC instead of visiting African American churches, as his opponent did.”
Ugh. That’s brutal. Triathlons are impressive, but he needed to focus on some church-going folks at that point, not his fitness.
Knapp continues: “The truth of the election was that from a policy perspective, Fenty was popular. From a personal perspective, he had become flawed and expendable.” Fenty, he writes, tried to change his personal style “too late and continued to send messages that he hadn’t really changed.”
That’s exactly the impression I left the debate with.