President Obama endorses Muriel Bowser for Mayor

Photo by PoPville flickr user afagen

From a press release:

“Today, President Barack Obama endorsed Democratic Councilmember Muriel Bowser in the November 4th general election for DC mayor:

“I am proud to endorse Democratic Councilmember Muriel Bowser in her mayoral election bid. She is a champion for working and middle-class families, and a passionate proponent of Washington, D.C.

“Muriel knows that every hardworking D.C. resident deserves the opportunity to get ahead. That’s why she has partnered with local small businesses to create jobs and fought to give the children of D.C. a fair shot by investing in our schools. As mayor, I know she’ll continue to bring people together to fight for fair wages, build on the economic progress we’ve made and ensure teachers and students have the resources they need for success from early childhood education through high school.

“As we continue our efforts to move our country’s economy forward, I know I’ll be able to count on Muriel to expand opportunity for all. That’s why I’m asking for you to vote for her in the general election this November.”

Councilmember Bowser responded: “I am extremely honored to receive President Obama’s endorsement. We share a progressive vision, believing that we only succeed when opportunity is available to everyone. If the residents of the District of Columbia elect me to be their next mayor on November 4th, I will emulate the President by bringing people together to find solutions to our toughest challenges.”

65 Comment

  • Ugghhhhhhhh noooooooooo.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Didn’t he have to b/c she’s the dem? Does the president usually endorse a mayoral candidate?

  • No big surprise. Party first, obviously.
    I still think Muriel is going to win by 6 to 8 points when all is said and done.

  • Bad call. And it reflects poorly on him for putting out the statement.

  • clevelanddave

    Is he waving high or bye? Does the fact that he endorsed so late mean anything? Is this a surprise in any respect?

  • justinbc

    I can’t believe the President, who’s a Democrat, supported the Democrat candidate for mayor! What an outrage!
    Now, had he supported her during the primary, that might have been something.

    • Basically.
      This is all about his legacy as the first black President. Politically and personally, Obama probably has more in common with Catania than Bowser. But he’s not going to endorse an independent (or even remain silent, which is basically the same thing) when there’s a black Dem in the race. Obama can’t turn his back on his African-American supporters, who were absolutely fervent in their support and man hours they dedicated to his campaign.
      I get it, I’d do the same if I were in his shoes.

      • “can’t turn his back on this African-American supporters”? since when does any national politician care about the support of any voters in the District?

      • You said probably as if you are not sure. When has Catania been more Obama-like than Bowser so that you end up at this conclusion (first black pres legacy) instead of the easy conclusion which is Dem for Mayor?

    • Thank you for mischaracterizing as outrage my disappointment that Obama, who I have respect for as an intelligent person, would stoop to partisan politics and endorse Bowser. /sarcasm back at you
      Oh, maybe he thought she had good ideas for the city instead of empty statements. /more sarcasm
      /this is fun

  • New rule. First you give us voting rights. Then you get to comment on local issues.

  • This strikes me as a crass political move. I assume that his political advisers concluded that a Catania win in the capital would be spun by national Republicans as a rebuke of the administration. I am a lifelong Democrat and a supporter of Obama, but this meddling in our local politics makes me more determined than ever to vote for Catania. If the President had been more of a champion for DC over the last six years, I might give this more weight.

    • epric002

      ditto! (though i’m an independent. for the record)

    • Accountering

      Also a registered Dem, and someone who knocked on doors in VA, and donated cash to Obama, and I couldn’t be more excited to vote for Catania. I would literally crawl to the precinct on Nov 4 to make sure my vote gets in.

      • gotryit

        I’m seeing an idea here… Pub Crawl for Catania! Start drinking the night before and keep going all the way until the polls open the next morning. It’s like a get-out-the-vote for the young vote. What could go wrong?

    • National Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about who is mayor of DC…nor does the rest of the country…Obama is just towing the party line as always.

      • National Republicans care about anything that will embarrass the President. An ex-Republican winning the mayoral election in the heavily Democratic capital would be embarrassing to the President.

        • Accountering

          I would be MORE than fine with the republicans getting another black mark on the dems. This would not effect the 2014 elections (senate voting happens same day across the country) and to me, the big story is going to be who kept, or lost the senate, and not the DC Mayoral election…

  • Obama failed to do his homework and he is not a registered voter in DC.

  • FYI — It is my understanding that today is the last day to register to vote in the general election. Get registered and tell your friends–especially if they will vote for Catania 😉

  • The President’s press secretary said the following back in April:

    Q There was a local election in D.C. As a D.C. resident, I’m wondering if the President is aware of Muriel Bowser winning the Democratic nomination for mayor, which likely means she will be mayor, and if he has formed an impression of her at all in his time in D.C.?

    MR. EARNEST: I do know that the President is aware of the election results from last night in the District of Columbia. I don’t know if the President has ever met Councilwoman Bowser or not. I can tell you that the President and the White House values the strong working relationship that we’ve had with a couple of mayors in the District of Columbia and whoever the next mayor is, we’d anticipate that that strong working relationship will continue. But I would anticipate that the President will support the winner of the Democratic primary of that contest.

  • Obama is clearly uninformed about DC politics. I’ve lived in Petworth since before Bowser was elected to Council and the only positive thing I could say about her winning the mayor’s race is that Ward 4 may actually get an effective councilmember. (Though I’ll admit she has some helpful staff). Happily supporting Catania and I wish the President would mind his own business on this one.

  • I don’t know anyone who supports Bowser other than who have to because they are part of the party machinery. The only good that might come from electing her is convincing everyone to support nonpartisan elections, with runoffs. I think Catania can pull it off, but it all depends, as they say, on turnout.

    • I support her. Of course, you probably don’t actually know me either, but people like me do exist. In fact, I’ll bet we make up most of the voters in DC.

      • Accountering

        Do you support her because she is a democrat? Or do you actually have some valid reason to think she would be a better mayor than Catania?

        • Accountering

          *Should have said “some reason to think” as only you get to decide what is a valid reason.

        • I support her because I think she would be a better mayor than Catania. I find Catania’s willingness to take a high-paying job as a lobbyist for a government contractor while serving as a DC councilman to be disqualifying. It shows either a serious lack of ethics or a serious lack of judgment. On the other hand, I think Bowser is smart, and she has been responsive the few times I’ve had contact with her office.
          I wouldn’t say either one is my ideal mayoral candidate, but given the choice we have I don’t have any difficulty choosing to vote for Bowser.

          • How is that disqualifying?

          • Accountering

            I can certainly appreciate the fact that you have reasons to vote for Bowser, other than simply her party. We will certainly have to agree to disagree on whether having a second job while a CM shows a lack of ethics or judgement. We will also have to disagree on the fact that bower is smart, or that she is responsive when contacted about issues. With that said, again, I can certainly appreciate that you have reasons for your vote, other than the letter behind the candidates name.

          • Fair enough, I’m really not trying to convince you or anyone else who to vote for. I just didn’t like the implication of U Street Resident’s post. Claiming that anyone who votes for Bowser is doing so because of identity politics (wether party, race, or gender) is offensive, and seems to be really common this election cycle.
            As far as the second job thing goes, while I dislike the idea of outside employment for council members, period (and I really wish Bowser would have tried to put a stop to it in her ethics bill). But Catania’s other job is to me much worse than Cheh working as a law professor. I think most would agree that a US senator having a second job working for Lockheed Martin would be inappropriate at best even if he recused himself from voting on the contract for a fighter plane. But Catania didn’t see anything wrong with working for a company that bids on DC government (and other local government, too) contracts. He worked there right up until it was time to run for mayor, and then quit, which makers me think he agrees with me regarding the optics, if nothing else.

          • gotryit

            I also am in favor of councilmembers having one job only. But if he had been doing something particularly shady, wouldn’t Bowser (or someone else) have outed him like he’s picking on the Park Southern mess?

      • I am also supporting her as the “lesser of three not very inspiring” candidates. I have many reasons and have been following the news and debate summaries.

  • Embarrassing.

    When he was first elected, I had big expectations for Obama. However, time after time, he has proven to be either very badly advised or incompetent. Unfortunately, years from now, chances are he will only be remembered as the 1st Black President and not much else.

  • A Democratic president endorses a Democratic candidate. Breaking news. This proves she’s in a tighter pickle than a Democrat in DC should be.

  • This will have zero impact on my voting choices, but I’ll be sure to let the president know who I favor in the next Chicago mayoral election.

  • An endorsement by Obama for Bowser is one reason not to vote for her. I don’t like Catania because he’s a surly human being. However, Catania is smart and he does his homework on issues. Muriel has been running around thinking she’s the Mayor because she won the Democratic primary. I despise Bowser and as a lifelong black Democrat, I will hold my nose and vote David Catania. My vote is to spite Muriel because she and her supporters thinks she will be the next Mayor. Catania is going to surprise Ward 4 Councilwoman Bowser with his win. There are a lot of D.C. voters like myself closeted and will vote for Catania in the poll booth.

  • justinbc

    Btw, anyone have a good site for comparing the candidates?

    • Seriously. I know I’m voting Catania for mayor but know nothing about the at large council candidates. I am thrilled with the very professional and classy young woman I met in the neighborhood though who is running for ANC. It’s nice to see twenty-somethings who really want to make a difference!

  • Two things:
    From the President’s statement: “and fought to give the children of D.C. a fair shot by investing in our schools. ”
    When did she do that? What is that referring to?
    From Bowser’s response: “I will emulate the President by bringing people together .”
    She apparently doesn’t pay too much attention to national politics.

  • I hope this is her kiss of death, she’s totally out of touch, a puppet in the hands of the highest bidder

  • EW. Just EW.

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