It all started June 28, when Fenty backed out of an education debate organized by the group Young Education Professionals, saying he “couldn’t make it work.” Then last week, Nickles was on vacation during hearings on whether the Fenty administration had properly implemented a minimum-wage law passed four years ago and whether the city should have paid $550,000 on canceled parks-and-recreation contracts to a firm with ties to the mayor.
It’s summer. People go on trips. And during a big political year, people sometimes schedule hearings during those trips to make their opponents look bad. That said, could Nickles have postponed the trip once it became clear there’d be questions about the payments to Banneker Ventures? Could he have avoided commenting on the state of the water to a gossip columnist? Probably. Given the mayor’s problems in his home neighborhood, Fenty and his team should know the simple lesson that the greater part of success is simply showing up.