Smitherman chases the limelight on foot through Etobicoke

Smitherman chases the limelight on foot through Etobicoke

George Smitherman shows off a puppet of himself (Image: Shaun Merritt) 

The summer doldrums have put a bit of a damper on Toronto’s dithering shouting match mayoral election. There have been no high-profile debates for a while now. Aside from Rocco Rossi promising to undo the Jarvis bike lane and Rob Ford being told to avoid a certain school, we’ve seen curiously little of the five front-runners. We’d hate to see any of the candidates suffer from vitamin D deficiency, so it’s good to see that George Smitherman is getting some sun: his campaign is taking a long walk through the city over three days. Day one of his odyssey took him through the west end of the city, hoofing it through Etobicoke.

Smitherman explained the perambulatory stunt to the Toronto Star:

“The budgets (in the mayoral race) just don’t allow you to buy the kind of saturation TV advertising that you would…get in a provincial-scale election campaign so I’ll be out every day” campaigning, Smitherman said.

“Also, the reality is I could stand to lose some weight.”

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee describes Smitherman’s jaunt in terms normally reserved for a serious bromance: “…he was in typical Smitherman form: confident, determined, authoritative, bursting with ideas and energy and jokes.” According to Gee, “Bald becomes ‘his shaved bullet head.’”

Aside from the praise, Gee has a good point: Smitherman’s campaign has had a hard time finding any kind of direction (at the moment, it’s going from west to east, but that’s only for three days). Other candidates may be accused of being one-note, but at least they haven’t left voters wondering what it is they’re running—or, in this case, walking—for. Well, aside from winning, that is.

• George Smitherman’s Long, scripted march [Toronto Star]
• George Smitherman: Firm stride, uncertain compass [Globe and Mail]