WASHINGTON -- McKinsey & Company consultant Fiona Greig bowed out from the race to unseat longtime District of Columbia Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) on Wednesday, claiming in a statement posted to her campaign website that she'd been intimidated into dropping out of the race and just wasn't ready to "mount the kind of campaign it would take to win."
Local politics blogger-reporter Mike DeBonis at The Washington Post had this to say about Greig's announcement: "Oh, please."
I hate to react this way to anyone who shows an interest in getting involved in D.C. politics, but if there's a place in the country where entrenched incumbents don't enjoy the advantages of "the process" please let me know. It's the incumbents, after all, who make the election and campaign finance laws. And yet in the District, there's an unusually robust history of city incumbents getting themselves ousted by energetic challengers. Ask Jim Nathanson, H.R. Crawford, Sharon Pratt, Frank Smith, Charlene Drew Jarvis, Kevin Chavous, Harold Brazil, Carol Schwartz or Adrian Fenty about that.
DeBonis goes on to throw some cold water on the "Mayberry-esque notion of politics" coming from those in Greig's camp, like Greater Greater Washington contributor and Greig campaign manager Ken Archer, who say that today's dirty politics are keeping good candidates like Greig from running for office: "Greig and Archer paint the episode as illustrating the ruthlessness of local politics rather than illustrating her campaign's ineptitude," including accidentally filing a private list of campaign fundraising targets -- with descriptions like "homosexual" and "super wealthy" -- with the Office of Campaign Finance.
Political consultant (and HuffPost blog contributor) Peter D. Rosenstein, writing in the Georgetown Dish, was "surprised at the excuses [Greig] and her supporters are using" and suggests that Greig lacked basic knowledge about politics and about the community she was hoping to serve. Rosenstein's take on why Greig really dropped out: She couldn't raise enough money.
Greig's departure, the reasons for it and DeBonis' blunt assessment sparked plenty of feisty discussion on Twitter, including a choice war of words between Washington City Paper's Lydia DePillis (who slammed Greig) and former Washington City Paper scribe Elissa Silverman (who came to Greig's defense).
Click through to see the idealists and realists in the local D.C. political landscape battle it out: