10 Lessons Learned in the Toronto Mayoralty Race

Blog - No Comments » - Posted on October, 17 at 10:18 am

From Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun:

Here are 10 things I learned during the marathon Toronto mayoralty race, which finally ends Oct. 25.

1. Rob Ford is the Don Cherry of Toronto politics.

Or, if you prefer, Don Cherry is the Rob Ford of the CBC.

Ford shouldn’t be a star candidate for mayor in Toronto, which considers itself sophisticated. Cherry shouldn’t be a star personality on the CBC, which considers itself sophisticated. Ford’s very presence in the mayor’s race is an affront to the high-forehead, south of Bloor St. crowd, who passionately care about Toronto politics. Cherry’s very presence on the CBC is an affront to the high-forehead, south of Bloor St. crowd, who passionately care about the CBC. The secret of both men’s success is they know how to connect with ordinary folks, something high foreheads are notoriously inept at doing. If the mayor’s gig doesn’t work out for Ford and if Cherry ever tires of the CBC, they should open a car dealership together. Can you imagine the sales?

2. The biggest surprise of this race has been how Ford, who used to go off the deep end like clockwork at city council meetings — allegedly calling Giorgio Mammoliti a “Gino-boy” and definitely calling Gloria Lindsay Luby a “waste of skin” — has managed to keep his cool as everything, including the kitchen sink, was tossed at him, even that he’s too fat to be mayor.

3. Ford is very weak when answering basic questions about his own platform and his deputy campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, and policy advisor, Mark Towhey, appear to know it. That’s my take on why they repeatedly came to the heated defence of their candidate during Ford’s meeting with the Sun editorial board last Tuesday, as Ford stumbled around while trying to explain his own transit and financial plans. Say what you will about George Smitherman, Joe Pantalone and Rocco Rossi, they answered every question put to them at our editorial boards on their own. Ford’s weakness on this front is a serious liability, should he become mayor.

4. Given his track record working for Dalton McGuinty at Queen’s Park, how can anyone take Smitherman’s latest political re-invention of himself as a “tax fighting” mayor seriously?

5. I wish Rossi had run for city councillor before deciding to run for mayor, where he got smoked. Too bad. We could have used his smarts on the next council. Before he dropped out, he had the most credible financial plan of any of the major mayoral candidates.

6.Women’s Post publisher Sarah Thomson steadily gained stature through the many months of her run for mayor, then lost it all in a matter of days by following around Smitherman like a homeless puppy, after withdrawing from the race and publicly endorsing him. What was she thinking?

7. It has been hilarious watching the NDP caucus at City Hall and the Liberals at the Toronto Star simultaneously freaking out over the prospect of Ford as mayor.

8. Politics aside, I like Joe Pantalone. (I find him to be a typical NDPer – so we disagree on this one Lorrie)

9. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I don’t think David Miller would have won the mayor’s race if he’d decided to run again. I think he knew that, which is why he didn’t run. On a related issue, be skeptical of “beauty contest” polls asking the public if they’d vote for a candidate who isn’t running, whether it’s Miller or, say, John Tory. As soon as a candidate enters the race, takes positions, has his political record thrown back at him and is questioned by the media and attacked by opponents, his numbers almost always drop.

10. Sue-Ann Levy has balls.

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