D.C. mayor's race: Fenty and Gray want you. Now.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty spoke about listening to voters during a visit to J.O. Wilson Elementary in Northeast Washington Monday morning.
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 23, 2010; 1:12 PM

It's feeling pretty Saturday night out there, on the D.C. mayoral campaign trail.

Desperate, the-entire-posse-is-piled-in-the-car-hitting-on-anything-that-breathes, junior year of high school Saturday night, that is.

In the nation's capital, we have some dudes who are cruising the city, frantically looking to seal the deal on primary day.

They are party hopping, changing their looks, cracking jokes, making promises, apologizing, dissing each other, strutting, dancing, cajoling, begging. And it's not so much that they really want to know how you're feeling, what your thoughts and dreams, hopes and fears are.

They simply want you to give it up for them. Now.

"So, can I count on your support?" Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) asks folks as he knocks on doors at dinnertime, in between his events and on weekends.

Folks tell me they feel cornered by his visits, that the ding-dong drop-ins are yes or no questions, not chats. "Where's the conversation? The discourse? The debate?" they wonder.

The big man on campus just wants to know if you're in or out. He doesn't have time for romance.

And then there's the old-school gentleman, who is trying hard to woo you but is struggling to do it BlackBerry time.

"It's dead over here," a campaign staffer for D.C. Chairman Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) decided one weekend afternoon, while hopscotching from one event to another, texting on which party is hot, which isn't. All the while, trying hard to keep Gray moving on, moving along.

It isn't easy for them to run him at triathlete speed. Quick hit is not his style.

"He wants to talk to all of them. Every. Single. Person," a Gray volunteer complained to me.

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