In delivering the District’s Democratic delegates to President Obama’s renomination, Mayor Vincent C. Gray had a low bar to jump in historical terms: He just had to show up.
Four years ago, then-mayor Adrian M. Fenty was late arriving to Denver’s Pepsi Center for the roll call, leaving Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton to fill in at the last second. Last night, rest assured, Gray made it to Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena in time.
After local party chair Anita Bonds introduced him as “our mayor-governor,” Gray did his best to press the cause of D.C. democracy to an arena that had emptied somewhat after Bill Clinton’s show-stopping keynote speech.
While calling on Americans to “work with us to bring justice and equality to the District of Columbia,” he was surrounded by local Democratic honchos including Norton — who was denied her usual convention speaking role — and D.C. Council members Muriel Bowser, Jack Evans, Phil Mendelson and Vincent Orange — as well as “independent Democrat” Michael A. Brown.
One person who wasn’t there: Marion Barry, who explained on Twitter:
Decided to not attend tonight's session because legs are weak and in slight pain. In physical therapy at Howard Univ.— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) September 6, 2012
Decided to rest and save my energy and legs for tomorrow's big day.— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) September 6, 2012
Here are Gray’s remarks in full:
Thank you, madam secretary.
I am proud tonight to represent the 618,000 residents of the District of Columbia. At this convention, we have heard about the importance of inclusion, about creating opportunities, about moving forward, about hope for the future, and we certainly have just heard an eloquent presentation about the fallacies in the Republican arguments in this election. What we have heard, also, are moving stories about what makes America great. We are a city that pays $3.5 billion annually in federal taxes and raises $5.6 billion in local taxes to support our city. Our great nation was founded upon the fundamental principle of resistance to taxation without representation. Yet we continue to endure that in the District of Columbia. So we ask you: Please, America, as we work to re-elect President Obama, work with us to bring justice and equality to the District of Columbia.
The District of Columbia proudly casts its entire 43 votes for the re-election of President Barack Obama.