Toronto Votes 2010: Adam Giambrone's Star Wars Kid Candidacy
From among that list of 24, there are a handful of legitimate candidates - one of Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Pantalone, or the yet-to-declare Denzil Minnan-Wong could break through as a contender.
But early on, the media focus has been on George Smitherman, Adam Giambrone, and Rocco Rossi. For those unfamiliar with Toronto-politics, here's where you've probably heard of these men before:
-Giambrone's name gets mentioned on Facebook whenever someone is bitching about the TTC
-Smitherman is part of the "Former McGuinty Cabinet Ministers" Facebook group (closing in on the anti-prorogation one as the largest FB group in Canada)
-Rocco Rossi has most likely wished you happy birthday on Facebook.
So what should we make of our three challengers thus far?
Well, with John Tory gone, Smitherman is clearly the front runner. He's branding himself as the pit bull of the race (Q: What's the difference between George Smitherman and a pit bull? A: McGuinty has yet to ban George Smitherman):
In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Smitherman opened the door to road tolls, rejected banishing bike lanes from arterial roads and promised to apply bulldog toughness to the city’s finances – unlike the current administration, he said, which is struggling to impose a 5-per-cent budget cut on recalcitrant departments and agencies.
“If my bureaucracy basically shot me the finger,” Mr. Smitherman said, “well, I’ll let my reputation speak for itself … a shrug of the shoulders and the middle finger salute isn’t going to cut it.”
Former LPC National Director Rocco Rossi (who, in passing, deserves a round of applause for the increased Liberal fundraising numbers in 2009), is positioning himself on Smitherman's right flank. It's not too surprising, really. Rossi was John Tory's campaign manager in 2003, so he stands to inherit much of the Tory organization...it only makes sense to try and inherit as much of Tory's vote as possible.
Which brings us to young Adam Giambrone, chair of the TTC. Giambrone should be taken seriously in this race - John Laschinger is his campaign manager, and Giambrone will appeal to many of the same people who elected David Miller. Now, when I say that Giambrone should be taken seriously, that's intended more as advice to his own campaign, than as a warning to the opposition. Case in point:
I'm as big a fan of self-deprecating humour as anyone out there, but there comes a point when you cringe. After watching this video, I just can't imagine this guy running the City of Toronto. Don't get me wrong, I love that he has a sense of humour, and he seems like an OK guy - the video would make me consider voting for him as SU President. Well, maybe not, but definitely as VP Events for the chess club.
But Mayor of Toronto? That's a fairly serious job, and nothing Giambrone has done thus far, during this campaign or during his political career, gives me any sort of sense that he's ready for that.