If it’s a corruption scandal you seek, look no further than Montreal city hall, but if you’re after one of those good old fashioned sex scandals that British politicians just marvel in, you’ll need to travel further west on the 401 to Toronto where city councilor and – at least for now – mayoralty candidate Adam Giambrone has been ‘outed’ as a 32-year old philanderer.
Hell hath no fury like a scorned cell phone user with a text messaging plan.
Montreal has always lived up to its municipal image as the Las Vegas of the north – “what happens in Montreal stays in Montreal.” It’s worn almost as a source of civic pride among residents.
Toronto, on the other hand, never quite seems to live up to its moniker ‘Toronto the good.’
Giambrone is only the latest Toronto official to be caught in a ‘choose your vice’ – sex, drug, drunken behaviour, or foul mouthed – exposé on the front pages of the Toronto Star.
But Giambrone’s real sin isn’t getting caught with his pants down, but in painting himself as something he’s not.
If you’re in your thirties by all means run for public office, but don’t be a caricature of everything that the public hates about politicians. It doesn’t wear well.
Fresh faces should have fresh ways of doing politics and not act like a pubescent Robert Redford in The Candidate or, even worse, an adolescent Mitch Romney in the 2008 Republican primary campaign.
Doubt me? Check out Giambrone’s campaign launch video and then ask yourself if you’d be willing to entrust a multi-billion dollar a year operation to this guy?
And this was before Torontonians learned that he had two girlfriends: one for political consumption and, based on text messages released to The Star, one just for consumption.
Once outed, Giambrone had a chance to be a genuine 32-year old politico; instead, he acted like a fiftysomething philanderer caught cheating on his wife.
In his official campaign spin one can almost hear the distant echo of U.S. political consultant Dick Morris with former President Bill Clinton as they parsed the meaning of sex during the Monica Lewinsky affair.
This was the chance for Giambrone to do all aspiring thirtysomething politicians proud and state the obvious: that this was not a stellar moment of personal judgment and that he was going to refocus his energies on his real job as councilor and not his all too scripted campaign for the city’s top job.
At the end of the day this is hardly a scandal of epic proportions, but like any juicy fling there are victims and for Giambrone he’s got – as Desi Arnaz repeatedly said to Lucy – “some splainin to do” to the two very real victims: his presumably and hopefully by now former girlfriends.
And at least there’s one bright spot in all of this. It might put an end to the persistent rumours that Giambrone is gay.