Hizzoner's Back

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, now running for the D.C. Council seat in Ward 8, signals his optimism as he departs the Wilkinson Elementary School where he voted in the District of Columbia's primary election, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004. A civil rights activist, four-term mayor, convicted drug offender and hero to the District's poor, black communities, Barry has emerged from retirement to challenge two-term incumbent Sandy Allen for the council seat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Welcome back to Marion “Mayor For Life” Barry. Tonight he won the Democratic primary for Washington D.C.’s Ward 8, effectively winning the November election in the process.

As I predicted months ago it looks like Hizzoner will be plowing the fertile fields of the District’s Ward 8 in an attempt to set himself up for another run at mayor’s job. If all this sounds familiar, it is an ironic but of deja vu.

Fresh off of his stint in prison for cocaine possession in 1992, Barry won the Council seat in Ward 8. He used his position as councilman to launch a successful campaign to claim his fourth term as mayor (his first as a ex-con) in 1995. Apparently a repeat of this strategy was in the works in 2002, when an incident in which U.S. Park Police said they found traces of marijuana and cocaine in his car effectively shut down his plans for a council run.

Two years in District politics is an eternity, and in Ward 8 it’s plenty of time to rehabilitate your image. The master plan was not scuttled, just delayed. Journalists and comedians should be thankful for Barry’s return – he provides a wealth of material. A long time ago Chris Rock noted the irony of Marion Barry as a public figure, “How are you gonna tell kids not to get high when THE MAYOR is on crack!”

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