Strategist extraordinaire Warren Kinsella grabs a bucket, starts bailing out the SS Rocco Rossi

Strategist extraordinaire Warren Kinsella grabs a bucket, starts bailing out the SS Rocco Rossi

As Toronto’s mayoral campaign enters the home stretch, it’s looking worse and worse for Rocco Rossi‘s campaign. A Toronto Star poll last weekend showed Rossi polling at just five per cent, a plunge from earlier in the year, when Rossi was the presumptive anti-Smitherman candidate. Hoping to turn this around, the Rossi people announced this morning that Warren Kinsella—infamous strategist and communicator for the federal Liberals—is joining the campaign. David Rider of the Star started the rumour mill early this morning, and it was confirmed by the Rossi campaign (and Kinsella himself) shortly thereafter.

Of course, Kinsella could quadruple Rossi’s poll numbers and still lose badly. That said, Kinsella clearly has in mind someone he’d sorely like to beat: Rob Ford. Here are just some of the Ford-related things he’s written on his blog over the past month.

August 20: Rob Ford has an interesting effect on political perception. For example, he makes Sarah Palin seem like a Nobel Prize laureate.

August 19: No one is saying he’s a drunk-driving, drug-using hypocrite who beats up on people who are smaller than him. No one. But, sooner or later, someone will, I suspect.
August 6: Rob Ford is a joke, and his manifest unsuitability for office is going to be shortly revealed to the city, in forensic detail.

August 5: The notion that this knuckle-dragger could become mayor of Canada’s biggest and most diverse city is beyond ludicrous. God help us all. What do you think, Internet? Want to see the Clampetts running the show down at City Hall?

When asked via e-mail why he signed up with Rossi instead of George Smitherman, Kinsella says, “[Rossi]’s super-smart, he treats all people with respect, and he’s fiscally conservative and socially progressive. He’s a good man. Rob Ford is no good on the social issues; George Smitherman is not top-of-mind when it comes to fiscal discipline.”

Kinsella and Rossi have their work cut out for them if they’re going to turn around the listing ship that is their mayoral campaign. Not quite yet, though: Kinsella is on vacation for a bit longer. When people say the race doesn’t start until Labour Day, apparently they’re serious.

• Spin doctor Kinsella joining Rossi campaign [Toronto Star]
• Kinsella joining Rocco Rossi team! [Toronto Star]
• Warren Kinsella officially joins Rocco Rossi’s campaign [Globe and Mail]