I have not seen the leftist/liberal Toronto press in such a tizzy since the Biebs was caught on Yorkville smooching with his main squeeze, Selena Gomez.
Or when Brad and Angelina graced the red carpet at TIFF.
Because folks, we have a new hot couple in town.
Move over Brangelina!
Say hello to our latest power couple, Steve Harper and Rob Ford. Or “Reeve”. That has a nice political ring to it.
(Note, the Hollywood and Toronto press like to brand starlet combos by mashing together their first names. We all remember the ill-fated “Bennnifer”- Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Actually, my two favorite TV couplings were Gossip Girl’s “Dair”, Dan and Blair and “Chair”, Chuck and Blair. But I digress.)
In a recent Toronto Star column, the normally staid columnist Tim Harper, was squealing like a starry-eyed political groupie. He breathlessly reported that Prime Minister Harper and Toronto Mayor Ford were spotted in Toronto. Together in public, embracing, for the first time, in a long time. OMG!
Apparently, this past weekend Prime Minister Harper was in Toronto.
And Harper threw political caution to the winds, by appearing in a photo shoot with the roguish Mayor Ford to announce that he will be kicking in $660 million to help fund Ford’s new Scarborough Subway.
In the past, Ford, due to the alleged “crack video”, was considered “persona not grata” by both federal and provincial Conservatives.
But apparently no longer.
The political bromance between Steve and Rob has gone public.
The Star’s Tim Harper obviously, auditioning for a gig at “People” or “US” magazines, accurately described the physical and stylistic differences of this odd couple.
“There’s our buttoned-down prime minister, the risk averse, purveyor of the bland, Stephen Harper. And there’s Toronto’s dishevelled, risk-happy, erratic mayor, Rob Ford. Stylistically, they are polar opposites.
Harper would treat a meeting with a voter in an unscripted moment as a crisis. Ford ditches his aides and wanders into crowds at a Saturday night street festival on the Danforth.
Harper works hard to avoid over exposure. Ford has his own open line show.
The prime minister seeks political advantage in a squeaky clean image, proudly denying marijuana use in his younger years while Ford laughs, and, without missing a beat, agrees he smoked “a lot.”
But underneath these superficial differences, these two amigos, share a lot more than a mutual love of bass fishing.
Since Ottawa and Toronto political life, is like high school, except with money and bigger stakes, let me explain the mutual attraction of these two political bedfellows.
Stephen Harper is your typical very brainy, intense, serious, straight “A” High School Student Council President. He is not very well-liked personally. But the students respect him and they believe he can get stuff done.
Rob Ford, on the other hand, is your beer-drinking, pot smoking, happy go lucky “C” student who is Captain of the Varsity Football team. Rob throws the best parties at the school. He is literally and figuratively a “big man on campus.” Most everybody loves Rob. Rob has a big heart. He has his own unique type of charisma and an intense following of friends and supporters who will stick by Rob, no matter how many times he screws up.
Stephen is a cold calculating political strategist. By his own admission, he is not very strong in the charisma department. In his next re-election campaign, he will be facing his most formidable opponent.
The best-looking and, hottest guy at the school. And the most popular student, at least with the female students and the elite, intellectual “in” crowd. We are referring of course, to the hip, pot-toking Justin, with the great wavy hair and tight jeans. The problem with Justin, is that though he is great-looking, he is a bit of an airhead.
Stephen needs Rob and his own band of friends and supporters. Stephen also hopes that some of Rob’s natural charisma and personal popularity may rub off on Stephen, making him looser, more interesting, and more approachable. Steve is hoping Rob will complete him.
On the other hand, Stephen’s friendship and support, brings Rob a lot of credibility and respect, and significant financial and organizational resources, that Rob will need when he runs for elected office himself.
Stephen also believes that with Rob, the two of them can go after the vast silent majority of the students, (the geeks, the freaks, the studious new immigrant students, the ESL types and the Goths).
Who are neither the establishment, the intellectual elite or the jocks and their girlfriends. But who will determine the difference between winning and losing, on election day.
The Steve and Rob Bromance. It looks like a match made in political heaven.