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Friday, June 27, 2014

Out-to-lunch Olivia Chow strategist suggests Rob Ford crack scandal was his way to avoid attending Pride

Lisa Kirbie, an Olivia Chow strategist who also happens to be political dirty-trickster Warren Kinsella's partner, came out with a doozie this week that indicates just how stupid and desperate the Chow campaign has become.

Interviewed by David Aiken on Sun News discussing a recent attack ad on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Kirbie actually, and in apparently complete seriousness, said, "I just want to point out that he's coming back after World Pride wraps up here in Toronto, so again missing...he'll do anything possible not to show up for the Pride parade..."

That of course makes sense. Tired of criticism for not attending the annual Pride parade, Ford started smoking crack, contrived to turn it into a media scandal, had to enhance that with some bouts of public drunkenness, and timed a stint in rehab all to create an excuse to avoid Pride this year.  

Riiiggghhtt... Well, at least we now know that Olivia Chow isn't the dumbest person involved with the Olivia Chow campaign.

Chow demonstrating with
Islamist fanatic Zafar Bangash
In the interview, Kirbie accused Ford of "racist, homophobic comments." If so, they aren't part of Ford's official policy, whereas Olivia Chow has promoted fanatical, terror-supporting bigots like George Galloway. Nor does Rob Ford stand shoulder-to shoulder with racist, homophobic, terror-supporting creeps like Zafar Bangash, with whom Olivia Chow has fraternized at demonstrations.

Attacking Rob Ford is a critical component of the Chow campaign. In fact, criticizing Ford is really the only thing the former NDP Member of Parliament can do, because scrutiny of what Chow says suggests she is something of an idiot.

Yesterday, I spoke with a former Toronto City Councillor who served on Council with Olivia Chow. He mentioned to me that the City had formed policies that would have helped Toronto ensure that the province's Ontario Municipal Board, essentially a sleazy arm of the development industry, could be prevented from running roughshod over Toronto. He told me those policies could have been grandfathered, but now have to be reintroduced and redone. When Chow resigned from Council, in that ex-Councillor's words,  she "screwed the pooch" on the file.

That type of incompetence is what Toronto could expect on a regular basis from Chow. Which is why attacking Rob Ford in order to divert attention from her own ineptitude is so important to Olivia Chow.


Skippy Stalin said...

All things being equal, the Chow people have taken it easy on Ford because it is in their strategic interest to do so.

Their main attacks are focused on John Tory, who gets dozens of shots for every one that they land on Ford.

Chow needs a weakened Ford in the race because virtually every vote he gets comes out of Tory's hide, splits the anti-Chow vote, and let's her come up the middle. And I figure that Ford will realistically get between 12 and 18% of the vote, assuming that he manages to stay in the race.

It isn't hard to see the strategic imperative at work there.

It would also be instructive to learn just how many registered lobbyists are on Chow's team, attacking Tory for being a ... registered lobbyist and holding a position on the board of the company he used to run.

Remember also that the folks you cite were on Michael Ignatieff's communications team in the fall of 2009, when he dropped about 15 points in five weeks - something you don't often see in big time politics. And we all know just how well Rocco Rossi's campaign worked out. Ditto Sandra Puppatello's Liberal leadership campaign.

Given the general leftward tilt of the city and the favorable map she faces, Olivia Chow should be a lot closer to 50% than she is.

Sure, she's a surprisingly subpar candidate that would likely get her ass handed to her by either David Miller or Adam Giambrone, neither of whom were wells of personal charisma. But she's struggling to stay eight points ahead of a crackhead and guy with a reputation for losing in very liberal city.

That tells me that her team is failing her in obvious and dramatic ways. And that's something that Ignatieff, Rossi and Puppatello can tell Chow all about.

They had better hope to Christ that Wynne's machine doesn't swing into action for Tory, because if it does, they're fucked!

Richard K said...

Oh, I'll agree that Chow's campaign strategists are a bunch of bozos. But in their defense, you can't make the proverbial silk purse out of a pig's ear.

One of the problems they have to contend with is that every time Chow opens her mouth, she reminds people how unsuited she is for any form of leadership.

As for good old Rob, I think you may be in for a surprise. Even taking into account the lowest poll numbers he has right now, he's at 20%. That's with doing no campaigning over almost 2 months. When he's back in the race, I still think he has a real chance. Not because he's necessarily the great savior of Toronto, but when you compare him to the opponents he's facing, per Jimmy Kimmel, as I like repeating, he's JFK by comparison.

And as you know, I'd vote for Ford no matter what, just to watch the heads explode at 1 Yonge Street if he wins.

Skippy Stalin said...

I think you're being entirely too optimistic, Richard. This is still Chow's race to lose. The city is politically aligned in such a way that Olivia could be openly drooling on herself and she'd still get a minimum of 35% of the vote. And they're not going anywhere.

I trust you've looked at the Tory internals that Kouvalis released yesterday, which I trust a whole lot more than Forum's public polling.

Those numbers show Chow dramatically underperforming, but she still wins. Of course, something catastrophic could happen, but no one should count on that.

With Ford out of the race, Tory wins by about ten points. With him in until the end, Olivia wins a squeaker. There's no way around that.

There are a few of other factors to bear in mind when it comes to Etobicoke Slim;

A) The astronomical chances that he'll take a magnificent, and very public belly-flop off of the wagon. While it's always possible that Robbie could go four months without doing something enormously self-destructive, he's never pulled it off before.

B) The possibility that he gets charged in Brazen 2, which I grant you, grows slimmer ever day, but could still happen.

C) The Integrity Commissioner's investigation into Bob and Doug's wanton self-dealing at City Hall. That report could easily destroy the only defense of their boy that the remains of Ford Nation have left, that he's stoned and stupid, but not personally corrupt. And it isn't impossible to imagine that report coming as late as the middle of October.

D) The 60-65% of the city that wants Ford to resign now. That needle hasn't moved much at all in the last eight months, and it isn't likely to. Well over half the city falls into the "unpersuadable" category for all practical purposes.

If the Kouvalis numbers are right (and given the reaction of the Chow hacks to them, there's no reason to believe that they're not), Big John is doing much, much better than the humiliated remnants of Ford Nation ever thought he could.

And those numbers clearly show your boy is a spoiler. Ford isn't leading anywhere, isn't likely to, and essentially serves to throw the election to Chow.

I can't believe that, less than a month after Tim Hudak's Gotterdammerung, Ford Nation still wants to have this conversation.

Richard K said...

I'm prepared to assume Kouvalis' numbers are a reasonably accurate reflection of the current state of things, i.e. the last week of June, 2014. Ford's internal polling in 2010, which Kouvalis did, turned out to be the most accurate election predictors.

But that said, in June 2010, George Smitherman would have polled #1. We're way too far out from the end of October for those numbers to mean all that much, particularly considering Ford has taken a two-month campaign hiatus.

Skippy Stalin said...

First, no one, especially not Chow, is making the mistakes that Smitherman did four years ago. Captain E-Health only went north of Eglinton Avenue once, and that was in a traffic helicopter.

Both Chow and Tory and fighting hard in Scarborough, North York, and even Etobicoke. Ford isn't the only game on the ground in those places now. Even if he starts walking on water tomorrow, that limits his growth potential significantly. Ford has never actually had to compete in the inner suburbs before. He does now.

Second, a Ford comeback, assuming that such a thing happens, comes exclusively from Tory's vote. However, he almost certainly wouldn't take enough of it to beat Chow, or even come reasonably close.

Third, and most importantly: money. I got an e-mail from the Tory campaign on Thursday saying that they've already raised $1.3 million, almost their entire campaign nut. The Fords, so far as anyone knows, have none. To even pretend to be competitive in the fall, Rob and Doug are going to have to devote all of July to begging for money.

If I was Nick Kouvalis, I'd be thinking very hard about carpet bombing Ford directly out of the gate. For each of the next three of four weeks, I'd roll out a new radio ad directed at His Worship.

Remember the "Celebrity" ad McCain used against Obama? The media thought it was stupid, but David Plouffe has said that it caused a precipitous drop in Obama's internal polling and caused a panic within the campaign. I suspect that it would be even more effective against Rob Ford.

If nothing else, a one-sided air war would cause Robbie to freak out, leading folks to question his sobriety. Getting Ford red-faced and sweaty in front of the cameras, something people have come to associate with his being on something, would be ideal.

Ignoring Chow for a month is something I'd rather not do, but getting Ford out any way I can would be the single most important objective I can imagine.

I don't think anyone has considered why Kouvalis released the internals when he did. Most folks thought it was to refute Forum, but I think it was a strategic shot to cripple Ford's fundraising.