Tony Williams—At the March, Out of the Fray

By: Harry Jaffe

Anthony Williams watched the speechifying at the DC voting-rights march this afternoon from the sidelines.

Three and a half months ago he left the post of mayor of the nation’s capital, the job he held for eight years; today he was a well-dressed citizen standing in the crowd watching the politicians on parade.
City leaders shouted into the microphone.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton: “No taxation without representation!”

Mayor Adrian Fenty: “White House next!”

Williams wore a bemused smile. He also wore stylish garments to combat the wet and wind and cold that buffeted the crowd and ripped signs from hands. He sported an olive-green Patagonia parka, black tasseled loafers, and a black cap. I couldn’t tell whether his trademark bow tie was hidden beneath the jacket.

DC Vote, the organization that organized the march, estimated the crowd at 5,000. It looked more like half that to me. Most were the usual suspects: politicians and activists and journalists.

Among the pols on the stage trying to squeeze into the camera frame was Vincent Orange, who gave up his council seat to run for mayor. He lost badly and returned to lawyering and lobbying.

“What’s he doing up there?” I asked Tony Williams.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t run anything anymore.”

I couldn’t help asking the obvious question. “Do you wish you were up there?”

Williams smiled and scoffed and brushed me off.

My take? Tony Williams seemed more comfortable observing than participating. And making much more money working for FBR, the investment firm in Rosslyn.