The anyone-but-Ford bandwagon gets a bit more cramped: Adam Vaughan endorses Smitherman

The anyone-but-Ford bandwagon gets a bit more cramped: Adam Vaughan endorses Smitherman

With the election now 10 days away and polls being increasingly unkind to anyone but the front-runners (that’s you, Pants), Toronto is settling somewhat uncomfortably into a predictable two-man race: George Smitherman gaining support as the anyone-but-Rob Ford candidate. The poll earlier this week showed it, Rocco Rossi’s departure showed it, and now the latest news is that the Smitherman camp is getting the endorsement of Adam Vaughan, councillor for Ward 20 and one of Ford’s most prominent opponents on council.

The Toronto Star reports:

“I like Joe and I consider him a friend, but you have to fight the election you’re dealt, not the one you want,” Vaughan said in an interview Friday morning.

“The only way to deal with Rob Ford is George Smitherman. I’m prepared to work with George Smitherman,” he said.

“It’s not so much an endorsement as a frank and realistic look at the way the polls are breaking. Not only do they say George Smitherman is the only candidate who can beat Rob Ford, they say he is beating Rob Ford.”

If Vaughan’s endorsement sounds kind of bloodless, that’s because it is. He’s been saying for a while now that he’ll be voting for whoever can beat Ford. Certainly, this move doesn’t match Giorgio Mammoliti’s for sheer realpolitik, but hey, we can’t fault Vaughan for having a clear read on the state of the campaign. Whether he can carry any left-wing voters who’ve been struggling with strategic voting—let’s call them the AAV (anguished Annex vote)—remains to be seen.

• Adam Vaughan backs Smitherman [Toronto Star]

UPDATE: According to Twitter, Senator and former Toronto mayor Art Eggleton is endorsing Smitherman at the Board of Trade, where Smitherman just gave an apparently-impressive speech.  No word on whether Eggleton now has to sit on someone’s lap to fit on the bandwagon. (Don’t ask Sarah Thomson to move, Senator: she’s a lady, and she got there first.)

(Images: Smitherman, Shaun Merritt; Vaughan, BriYYZ.)