Politics

Should DC Councilman Marion Barry still serve as Obama delegate?

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Marion Barry, the outlandish Washington, D.C. councilman who apologized last week after making offensive comments about his Asian constituents, is now facing a call from a local columnist to give up his spot as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

“District and national Democratic leaders should call for Barry to forfeit his seat as a Convention delegate,” Chuck Thies, a political consultant in Washington, wrote in a column for the local NBC affiliate in Washington.

Referencing Barry’s remarks, Thies wrote that, “there should be consequences. And there can be.”

Barry had to apologize last week after video surfaced of him saying, “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses — those dirty shops.”

In an interview in the aftermath of the dustup, Barry vowed that not only is he “one of the most successful elected officials in America” but that “God gave me a great brain.”

“I’m doing God’s work,” Barry said. “I have made public service my ministry. God gave me a great brain, courage, charisma, vision and the kinds of things that make leaders.”

Before Barry was elected to the delegate spot last month, the Washington Post reported that critics — including Thies — made the argument that his selection could embarrass the city.

The paper reported that Barry found himself in a “high-profile spat with his former girlfriend at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008.”

Asked about Barry, the Obama re-election campaign is keeping its distance.

“Neither the campaign nor the DNC selected Barry for a delegate position,” an Obama campaign official told Politico. “He was elected to the position in a caucus open to all DC Democrats.”

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