Ready! Aim! Fire!

The Nose

There is a conspiracy afoot, Dear Readers. Yes, you heard it here first.

Don’t panic!

Don’t run for the exits!

Before one of you calls the Secret Service, let The Nose be clear.

No one is trying to do a Romney redux. Rather, the plot is of a much more insidious nature.

Yes, Dear Readers, Barryites and Fentyites have found common cause in other than their penchant for green garb. A number are uniting behind the mayoral ambitions of Muriel “The Enigma” Bowser, the current councilmember for Ward 4.

Bowser’s principality has always exerted an outsized influence over the District politics. It is home to the storied Gold Coast, land of wealthy, connected African-Americans such as super lobbyist David Wilmot; former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, and soon to be ex-Councilmember Michael Brown. For many years, Charlene Drew Jarvis steered city’s economic development efforts from her perch as Ward 4’s councilmember.

Alternatively, Ward 4 has hatched the careers of two of the city’s most idiosyncratic reformers. Trial lawyer, good government advocate and former independent councilmember Bill Lightfoot calls it home. Here, Adrian Fenty launched his political career as an ANC commissioner. With Lightfoot’s aid, Fenty then went on to represent Ward 4 on the Council before ascending the mayoral throne.

Ward 4’s political hegemony is now under threat. In this last election, Ward 6 topped its contribution of presidential votes by more than 5,000. This newly emergent, fast growing rival is home to Tommy “The Saint” Wells, a councilmember with mayoral ambitions. It is this demographic change which, in the Nose’s opinion, has cemented the emerging, infernal alliance between Barryites such as Wilmot and Fentyites like Lightfoot behind Bowser.

The Nose has had enough of Wells' “Livable-Walkable” cant. Running one's Hummer through the fence of the local dog park to stop distracting canine vocalizations is just too tempting. Setting the District record for multiple U turns on Pennsylvania Avenue is a lifelong ambition. Damn DDOT! Give us back those lanes on L Street. They speed commuters out of the District.

Despite The Nose's quibbles, “Livable-Walkable” does provides an elegant shorthand for Wells' New Urbanist beliefs. It is difficult to think of a similar refrain for Bowser. It is true that Bowser provided strong support for “Red Queen” Rhee’s bloody program of school reform.

After reserving judgment during Harry “Light-Fingered” Thomas and Kwame “Add a Zero” Brown’s initial travails, Bowser was quick to call for Mayor Vincent “Where’s My Shadow” Gray’s resignation. She also stewarded the passage of the most recent ethics reform. Bowser has also proved a dogged advocate for her ward, which returned her overwhelmingly to office this past election.

Still, what is Bowser’s signature issue? Why does she want to be Mayor?

Does the difference between Bowser and Wells boil down to their choice of rides? Wells prefers his wife's Toyota 'Pious,' his bicycle or the Metro. Bowser drives an SUV.

With apologies to fans of My Fair Lady, this ditty is undoubtedly the one Bowser hums whenever she thinks of her Ward 6 rival:

Just you wait, Mr. Wells, just you wait!
You'll be sorry, but your tears will be too late!
You'll be broke, and I'll have money;
Will I endorse you? Don't be funny!
Just you wait, Mr. Wells, just you wait!

Just you wait, Mr. Wells, till the campaign gets thick,
And you scream for your contributors double quick,
I'll be off a second after, my accounts filled to the rafters!
Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells, just you wait!

Ooooooh Mr. Wells!
Just you wait until we're racing in the polls!
Ooooooh, Mr. Wells!
And your bicycle hits a large pothole.
When you yell you're going down I'll get dressed
and go to town! Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells!
Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells! Just you wait!

One day I'll be Mayor! I'll be proper and prim;
Go to the Wilson Building more often than I go to the gym!

One evening the voters will say:
"Oh, Muriel, old thing,
We want all of the District your praises to sing.
Next primary we do say will be your victory day!

All the people will celebrate the glory of you
And whatever you wish and want you can easily do."
"Thanks a lot, voters" says I, in a manner well-bred;
But all I want is Mr. Wells’ head!"

"Done!" say the electorate with a vote.
"Chief Lanier, run and bring in the bloke!"
Then they'll march you, Mr. Wells to the wall;
And the press will be screaming: "Muriel, sound the call."
As they lift their rifles higher, I'll shout:
"Ready! Aim! Fire!"
Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells,
Down you'll go, Mr. Wells!
Just you wait!

The problem with being a saint is that it invites martyrdom.


"It's hard to be a saint in the city"

Quoth the Bard: Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

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