Can Fenty Change His Personality?

Mayor recognizes that many voters just don't like him

Mayoral candidate and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray is an an easy-going politician, mainly criticized for being too bureaucratic, process oriented and slow to act.

Mayor Adrian Fenty, on the other hand, is seen as too quick to act. People grouse that for almost four years Fenty has refused to seek advice or accept constructive criticism. One columnist even began referring to him as a "jerk."

Now, with the campaign at a tipping point in its final weeks, Fenty is fully -- some would say finally -- acknowledging his difficult personality has turned off too many voters.

"It is something that I've learned," the mayor said Wednesday. "I've got to do a better job of letting people know that I have heard them and that their opinions have been considered. So I absolutely will use it to change how we do things going forward. I have to."

Gray, speaking to reporters Wednesday, was skeptical, saying he had "serious reservations as to whether [Fenty] can fundamentally change his personality in that way."

Fenty is vowing to be nicer as a person, but he's releasing two new campaign ads that again link Gray to the failed administration of Sharon Pratt Kelly in the 1990s. But Fenty seems to acknowledge the race is more about him than Gray.

"We've heard that the citizens appreciate what we're doing, they appreciate the results," Fenty said, "but they want there to be more dialogue and communication."

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