Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and wife Michelle are scheduled to be honored at the Idealism in Action gala tonight at the Ronald Reagan Building where they'll be presented the Lifetime of Idealism Award by City Year Washington, D.C., a youth service organization.
A co-chair of the event is former mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), which one might think would make for an awkward ceremony. The two didn't exactly see eye-to-eye. Fenty was one of Williams's sharpest critics as a member of the D.C. Council, fighting him on a range of issues, including the baseball stadium (Williams for, Fenty against) and the smoking ban (Fenty for, Williams against). Not surprisingly, Williams endorsed Linda W. Cropp to succeed him and campaigned on her behalf.
Since Fenty took office, though, Williams praised his successor, at times marvelling at Fenty's public persona.
"The mayor is a prodigy of a politician," Williams said in January, after Fenty had fired several city social workers in the wake of the deaths of four Southeast girls, allegedly killed by their mother. "He cuts a great figure, which is important for a mayor. People want to believe in the mayor and feel good. He uses his good political skills to achieve good management objectives."
Fenty, too, has taken to praising Williams. "Over the course of eight years of him being mayor, what he has been able to accomplish compares objectively to any other mayor you could think of," Fenty said on the eve of the opening of Nationals Park.