By Patrick Madden
D.C. Council Member Marion Barry has yet to officially endorse anyone in this year's race for mayor. But that doesn't mean the former mayor is staying on the sidelines.
Barry is quickly becoming one of Vincent Gray's most visible supporters. The latest Barry sighting: the roll-out of Vincent Gray's "Restoring Public Trust in Government" plan which, Gray admits, wasn't supposed to include an introduction by Marion Barry.
"I guess he happened to be in the room at the time the program started so he spoke," says Gray.
Nor did Gray sanction or even know about Barry's debate on live television against Adrian Fenty supporter Ron Moten until a few hours before.
"I had nothing to do with the scheduling of that debate. I had no conversation with him, Fox News, or Ron Moten," he says.
Gray says he welcomes Barry's support but emphasizes the former mayor does not speak for the campaign.
It's a delicate dance for Gray.
Barry remains a polarizing and powerful force in D.C. politics.
Gray needs Barry's help turning out the vote in Ward 8, but he also needs to keep some distance as the Fenty campaign tries to paint Gray as a return to the dysfunctional 1980's and 90's, when Barry led the government.
Barry, for his part, dismisses attempts by the Fenty campaign to use his support against Gray.
"Fenty is trying to appeal to the white voters, who I have less support among, and those voters who believe in good government and believe Adrian Fenty has been a miserable failure, are not gonna be moved by that," says Barry.
Barry adds it's his right, as an elected representative, to campaign for Gray's candidacy.