Sarah Thomson has the jailed tycoon vote all sewn up
"Subway Sarah" Thomson, running an interesting, newsy campaign but hardly a frontrunner at this stage of Toronto's mayoral race, has picked up a surprise big-name endorsement.
Conrad Black, writing his regular National Post column from a Florida prison, seems to be writing about Toronto missing that "It" factor -- romance, he calls it, in a lengthy review of the world's top cities and the travails that have helped make them great -- but he eventually surveys the mayoral field.
"George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi are not the people to take Toronto up the last steps of urban distinction. They are very humdrum; worthy at best, and I wouldn't bet the ranch on that."
And the endorsement goes to (update: yes, he spells her name wrong):
"In this spirit of Toronto's quest for municipal greatness, I end the suspense and confer my endorsement: Sarah Thompson (sic). She is a declared candidate, is youngish, attractive, intelligent, peppy, original, is a competent businesswoman with a colourful past and would work tirelessly for the city ...
If the present front runners are the future, we have seen them for decades and it won't work. Let's have a mayor who doesn't flee before striking garbage men like the Mamelukes before Napoleon. As far as I'm concerned, the Thompson bandwagon is rolling; I hope to be able to vote for her."
(We had to look it up too: According to napoleon-series.org, the Mamelukes "were among the most painted units in Napoleon's Imperial Guard ... In 1798 the West clashed with the Mamelukes when Napoleon invaded Egypt. Their élan and bravery was of an age long gone. The Mamelukes were no match for the veterans of Bonaparte's army.")
Black's hope that he'll be able to vote for Thomson, or anyone, in October is patently preposterous, and probably his idea of puckish monkeyshine. He has served just over two years of a 6 1/2 year sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice. Also, he's not a Canadian citizen and therefore ineligible to vote in the Toronto election.
Interestingly, Black does not deign to evaluate the three other main mayoral hopefuls -- Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone and Giorgio Mammoliti -- despite Ford and Pantalone polling ahead of Rossi. We would love to see a Rob Ford-Conrad Black confab, but would settle for his erudite evaluation of the Etobicoke populist.
Good for Thomson for getting props from high/low places. But, given one of her recent twitpics posted on The Goods, she had better be careful of the company she keeps.
UPDATE: Thomson's reaction to the endorsement:
"I am honoured that such a great empire builder has endorsed me. As former competitors in the publishing industry, his recognition of my ability and vision is a tip of the hat.
My idea of expanding Toronto's subway system and paying for it through a rush hour toll that engages commuters in actively helping Toronto build out our subway is just one step in moving our city forward. It is an investment in our city and one we should have made 30 years ago.
Lord Black's knowledge of history is inspiring."