UPDATE: Early Monday Kinsella confirmed that he is indeed joining the Rossi campaign. Details to follow.
Rumours are swirling that the Rocco Rossi team will announce, as early as its Monday morning policy announcement, that it has landed a big political fish for its campaign team.
Rossi's campaign certainly needs an energy drink. The Star-Angus Reid poll released Saturday is only the latest putting the well-funded Rossi in fringe territory, behind publisher Sarah Thomson who is running a shoestring effort out of her Women's Post office.
Eight months into the race, there aren't that many big fish left in the pond. The obvious name is Warren Kinsella, who seemed to be sitting in the bullrushes waiting to see if his choice - John Tory - was actually going to sit this one out. Tory confirmed that earlier this month.
Kinsella and Rossi are both, of course, well-connected federal Liberals. A rumour very early in the campaign had Kinsella signing on. The response from the Rossi camp was: "We wish!"
Then, you have Kinsella's blog posts dumping on right-wing frontrunner Rob Ford, or "Rush Ford" as Kinsella calls him, and pooh-poohing the idea that Ford has anything like a lock on the mayor's chair. The die-hard politico seems, understandably, to be champing at the bit to get in the fray and fight Ford.
Then, you have Rocco's recent replacement of campaign manager Sachin Aggarwal with veteran Conservative organizer Bernie Morton. If Tory had jumped in, Morton was going to run his campaign.
And what does Kinsella think of Morton? From Kinsella's blog:
Rocco running last? If he truly is – and, as I recall, John Tory was at about three per cent for much of the pre-Fall period during the 2003 mayoralty campaign, and then went on to nearly win – then signing up my friend Bernie Morton was the way to go (and so too keeping on Sachin Aggarwal as policy chief). Bernie is a campaign manager from the Don Guy/John Rae school – quiet, calm and strategic, and the sort of person you want to have in your corner when the going gets tough.
So, even if Kinsella doesn't take a formal position with the campaign, it seems unlikely he won't be bending his friend's ear.
And finally, also from Kinsella's blog, this entry from last Thursday:
Made a decision. Fed up.
Making a move.
We will. If it's true, this promises to be another twist in a race full of them and which, according to popular wisdom, doesn't really start until Sept. 8.
The question has been put to Kinsella and the Rossi camp. We'll let you know when we know.