Does Toronto even care that Smitherman is a new dad? Should it?
One interesting note from last night’s debate is that George Smitherman almost didn’t make it, thanks to the demands of 21st-century fatherhood. The Globe and Mail reports:
“I’m doing daddy duty next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” [Smitherman] said last week. “My spouse has work obligations that will take him out of the province. I had to let CP24 know that I’m obligated to go up to Grey County and help my mother settle in for the summer with my baby.”
As it turned out, Smitherman’s husband was able to stay in town, so we were treated to Furious George routing Joe Pantalone over last year’s garbage strike. But the real story here isn’t that Daddy turned up—it’s that this is the first we’ve heard about the kid in a long, long time. Smitherman and his husband announced they were adopting a young boy last February, and since then the press have largely respected their privacy. In fact, this is the first time that the adoption has come up at all since the announcement.
It’s certainly not unheard of for politicians to be starting or growing their families as they run for office: the new British PM’s wife, Sarah Samantha Cameron, is preggers, and Sarah Palin (in)famously had a child five months before the 2008 presidential election. Both of these kids got wide media play, which makes us wonder if coverage of Smitherman’s young family would have been so quiet if he’d been a woman or straight. No one is questioning his parenting skills the way Palin’s abilities were questioned (over and over again)—and David Cameron‘s weren’t.
Perhaps Canadians just don’t care. After some research, we couldn’t find a clear example of a Canadian woman running for office while pregnant or immediately after giving birth. MPP Laurel Broten ran for re-election in 2007 two years after having twin boys, but that’s the closest a quick Googling could find.
And yes, we know that “a quick Googling” sounds like the first step in where babies come from.
• Smitherman joins Tuesday’s TV debate [Globe and Mail]
• Smitherman’s adoption bid given initial approval [CBC]
Updated: May 19, 4:55 p.m.
6 thoughts on “Does Toronto even care that Smitherman is a new dad? Should it?”
Unfortunately, Smitherman’s adoption has been the source of some homophobic hate speech in a local East End paper “Ward 31 News”. I blogged about this in detail last week: http://misstraceynolan.blogspot.com/2010/05/rag-trade.html and am asking people to sign this petition: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/stopward31news/ in an effort to get Editor LeRoy St. Germaine’s advertisers to pull out. I want to put a stop to hate speech in my neighbourhood and appreciate all the help I can get. Please read up on the situation and sign the petition!
“help my mother settle in for the summer with my baby.”
He’s already unloaded the responsiblity of childcare to his mother.
Who is he trying to fool with the adoption?
I’m pretty sure her name is SAMANTHA Cameron not SARAH Cameron. Former PM Brown’s wife was a Sarah.
Smitherman has a HUSBAND , why does he not bring his spouse on the campaign trail? Let everyone see what great a family man you are, that’s what the public really wants, and what they relate to.
I’m sure everyone would be very proud to see you hand in hand with your loving husband.
that’s not parenting – that’s called grandparenting
Who cares if he has a husband?! Shouldn’t people care about the billion dollars given away in contracts for 4 of the 5 years he was in charge of E-HEALTH that resulted in no completed projects at all?! What about the fact that he resigned as Deputy Premier and his replacement was forced to step down after only a month?! This guy would rather run for mayor than face the music. How can your publication be in favour of such a shady charachter? What about the multi billions in untendered energy contracts given to Samsung under his watch? I don’t expect your magazine to publish this post. Oh well.
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