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Smitherman’s new campaign boss wants to “unleash George”

Last Friday, after months of low-profile campaigning, George Smitherman’s manager, Jeff Bangs, left Smitherman’s office for the last time. Rumours are flying about the reasons why Bangs left, but it’s safe to say that it’s not a good sign for a campaign when the manager leaves on short notice. News emerged yesterday that Bangs is being replaced by Bruce Davis, TDSB chair and former aide to other city hall bigwigs Case Ootes and Mel Lastman. Davis’s first priority is to change the direction of the campaign and raise Smitherman’s profile—a sign of the bizarro-land universe in which we live, where “Furious George” Smitherman needs his profile raised.

Davis spoke to reporters Tuesday night:

“The main thing is, we’ve got to really unleash George, and George is aching to get out campaigning... He’s aching to do it. He’s aching to get out and talk,” Davis told reporters Tuesday night outside Smitherman’s campaign headquarters on The Esplanade.

“We need more George.”

Talk of “unleashing George” sounds a bit like the scene in King Kong where the giant ape is brought out before the press (of course, nothing bad at all happened after that). Now, as long as Davis can keep George away from the CN Tower and remember his candidate’s name, maybe the campaign can get back on track. And maybe the race itself might get exciting.

George Smitherman’s campaign hits reset button [Toronto Star]Bruce Davis to lead Smitherman’s campaign for Toronto mayor [Globe and Mail] • ‘Furious George’ readies public face [National Post]

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