Each New Year's Day Afternoon, The City of Toronto hosts it's annual Levee, where members of the general public line up to get a turn at meeting and being greeted by the Mayor and members of City Council.
On a day when nearly everything else in the city is closed due to New Year's, this was the only game in town. The only other game of note being the NHL Winter Classic down the road in Detroit, which everyone seemed to be following on their BlackBerries and other handhelds.
This being a Municipal Election year in Toronto, and the day before nominations officially open, I found numerous potential Mayoral and Council Candidates doing the rounds inside the Rotunda of Toronto City Hall.
Among City Council Wannabes wandering the Rotunda was one Al Gore, declared Mayoral Candidate. Oh really? "Al Gore"?
Upon seeing my disbelief, "Al" pulls out valid Ontario photo I.D. Upon closer inspection, it's confirmed. He indeed shares a name with the Former Next President of The United States:
Alright "Al Gore," you have my undivided attention. Why are you running?
Getting anything beyond the statement that Gore has been strategically planning this run for office for 20 years is like pulling teeth at the dentist's office. It ain't easy, and the anesthetic is wearing off this conversation. How about a photo with the incumbent mayor in the background? Much easier. Done:
Toronto City Hall, 8:15 a.m. January 2 2014
Councillor Doug Ford works his way down the line-up of people waiting to file their nomination papers. Al Gore informs Doug that his brother, Rob Ford butted in line....
For the remainder of the first day of the 2014 Toronto Municipal Election, rather than expand upon any vision for the Future of the City or repeating campaign platform talking points, Mayoral Candidate Al Gore let anyone and everyone who would listen know that Rob Ford butted in line and wasn't really the first Mayoral Candidate in line.
Man named Al Gore who is running for Toronto Mayor says on Boom 97.3 that Ford budded in line to sign up and wasn't first. #topoli— David Elfstrom (@DavidElfstrom) January 2, 2014
A make or break part of being electable is name recognition.
On a day when even the likes of Living Jazz Legend and Municipal Budget subject-matter-expert Richard Underhill throwing his hat in the Mayoral Race wasn't enough to counter the oxygen being sucked out of the news media landscape with reports of the incumbent mayor filing his re-election paperwork, "Al Gore" found some breathing room among The Electorate. Inhale:
Perhaps those 20 years of strategic planning is already paying off for Al Gore. Perhaps he doesn't need any Vision for The City nor Campaign Platform at all?
If this Election is to be won on name recognition alone, perhaps "Al Gore" has it locked up and he already is the Next Mayor of The City of Toronto.
Awesome LOL indeed.