Kiss and make up: Mammoliti endorses Ford (and four other examples of frenemies getting over it)
Despite Rob Ford’s history of calling him racially insensitive names (ranging from “goon” to “Gino boy”), Giorgio Mammoliti endorsed his taunter today. The city’s reporters will make any number of stories out of this—we’re hoping for some great MammoFo comedy—but this is hardly the first time that somebody has had to endorse a rival who turns out to be a winner. And it’s not even close to the nastiest history between two people who went on to be teammates. Inspired by Mammoliti and Ford’s display of bald, crass realpolitik civic duty, we compiled four of our favourite political flip-flops.
Michael Ignatieff and Stephane Dion
Despite his early lead, Ignatieff was beaten at the 2006 convention by a strong “anyone by Iggy” vote that regretfully coalesced around Dion. Despite the results of the convention, and Ignatieff being made deputy leader, relations between the two were never easy. It didn’t help that Ignatieff provided one of the most damaging quotes against Dion in the election that followed.
Paul Martin and Belinda Stronach
When Stronach was running for the leadership of the newly formed Conservative Party, she railed against Paul Martin’s legacy as a Liberal finance minister and his association with Jean Chrétien. Fast-forward a few years and some thwarted ambitions, and Stronach would find herself crossing the floor to serve under Martin himself. Landing in a cabinet post, it looked like a smart call until Martin lost the next election to Stronach’s old boss, Stephen Harper.
JFK and LBJ
John F. Kennedy and his VP ran great guns against each other in the primaries, with all sorts of nasty accusations about whether Protestants would vote for Catholics, or whether Kennedy would be taking orders from the Pope. Mammoliti said today that Rossi’s ill-advised mobster ads have set back Italian Canadians, but at least nobody’s demanding that the Catholics running for mayor give a speech about the separation of church and state. Lyndon Johnson was beaten for the Democratic ticket but of course got to the Oval Office a lot sooner than he’d expected.
John McCain and George W. Bush
One of the ugliest primaries in recent history—if you can call 2000 recent—Bush’s campaign phoned voters in South Carolina and said that McCain had an illegitimate black child. After a crushing defeat, McCain endorsed Bush at a press event at least as awkward as the time Ford tried to build bridges with the HIV/AIDS community.
• Mammoliti officially endorses Ford in Toronto mayoral race [Globe and Mail]
• Giorgio Mammoliti endorses Rob Ford [National Post]
• Mammoliti endorses Ford for mayor [CBC News]
• Ford picks up support from rival Mammoliti [CTV News]