Man love and Vancouver politics

Post by Mike Klassen in

7 comments

clark_kent
A committee of six decided on the Vancouver Mayor's next eyewear

Sex sells, or so they tell me. But does "sexy" have a place in politics? Think about the reaction to Sarah Palin when she first strutted on stage in those red haute couture dresses, expensive high heels and the beauty parlour treatment. Oh, and let's not forget the costly designer eyewear. She sent GOP hearts a racin'. Men wanted her, women wanted to be her. Palin exuded self-confidence, and she could really deliver all the party's favourite talking points.

And you know what? She might be president in 2012, thus confirming everything you've heard about that apocalyptic point on the Gregorian calendar.

How will Palin get to the top job? It won't be on smarts, or her strength on policy. It won't be because of her vision for the future. Palin will be president because of money, moxy and a carefully managed public image. Moving forward you won't see anymore chicken beheadings or her pulling fishing nets with chest waders hiked up to her armpits.

Recently I heard that a committee of about six weighed in on an executive decision as to which eyewear Gregor Robertson will sport moving forward. You see, Gregor has a bit of a reputation for being an intellectual lightweight. However, the right eyewear can potentially add several points to someone's IQ. Which is why Gregor's latest choice of bifocals makes him look like reporter Clark Kent.

If you think what Gregor Robertson wears on his face is an idle concern, read this blog post of what was apparently "overheard" by the sister of the Mayor's top fundraiser and adviser Joel Solomon. Linda Solomon publishes the Vancouver Observer webzine, where she also blogs favourably about Robertson. She recounts this from a recent media event with Robertson:

When the press conference ended, media representatives packed up their gear and a local radio reporter told a local print reporter, that Mayor Gregor Robertson's new name was "Clark Kent."

The print reporter understood instantly what she was referring to and said, "He's been wearing those glasses for some time. "Have you ever checked on Twitter to see how many times someone called Gregor hot?" The radio reporter hadn't but said she wasn't surprised. "Gregor's" good looks were a "relief," she said.

"At least if we have to sit and listen to them (politicians) all the time we can look at someone hot. If you think of what we've had to look at over the last years..."

She mentioned the names of two previous Vancouver mayors. The two women agreed these mayors were "harder" on the eyes.

Is it surprising that the two one-termers that preceded Robertson are being judged by their looks? Not really.

For another example of this phenomenon read commentator Gary Mason's recent column about Gregor Robertson. Mason's writing during the time of the last election sent shockwaves through Vancouver's political scene, and arguably were one of the direct causes of the defeat of the NPA in 2008. Since the last election, I can't recall if Mason has written anything about anything related to Vancouver City Hall other than this radiant assessment of Vancouver's Mayor, which opens like this:

Gregor Robertson must have had a blithe, well-adjusted upbringing. He's always smiling....

Now that his city has just presided over a smash-hit Olympic party that won raves around the world, his boyish grin is bigger than ever. His political ambitions may be as well.

Mason characterizes a recent trip to Ottawa as one whose "grand strategy" is to boulster Robertson's image on the national stage (at Vancouver taxpayer's expense, I should add). Then he wraps up the column with this observation:

Not that failure would ever stop the man from smiling. Nothing can. And whatever you may think of his politics, it's always nice to see someone so happy.

It's interesting that everyone from a seasoned reporter to a blogger seem to be overcome by Robertson's appearance. Of course, the Globe has gushed about Roberton's hair style and the cut of his suit in the past.

The fact is that the Mayor has brought a whole new level of sex appeal to Vancouver politics, and just like the old Hai Karate aftershave cologne ads, the Mayor's good looks are just way too hard for many to resist.

- post by Mike

7 Comments

Hollywood.
I love that place. I have property there! At least I think it’s still there. Somewhere.
And for whoever got my suitcase (which included my electric shaver) during that glitzy night, three years ago, from right in front of Holiday Inn Express Hotel, God bless your soul Brother, ‘cause without that little glitch I would have never discovered again the pleasure of shaving with a Gillette Fusion, five blades. The best a man can get!

Anyway.

One doesn’t have to go there to find out about a certain Hollywood phrase:

“You’ll never work in this town again!”

What I like about this phrase is that’s so money on our Gregor.
This is the thing, the moment when I read about, or hear him talk on the radio (I don’t care much about TV) I have that Pavlovian conditioning / reflex, my hands are rapidly covering my jacket pockets, I tighten my butt gluts, and I look cautiously to my left and to my right for mad cyclists.

But that’s me. You Mike, common man! Clark Kent? Let Superman RIP.
At least Christopher Reeve was a Master of his craft.
The B actor we have to deal with here on the other hand, well... designer name or not, rim or rimless glasses, tailored suits or not...he is gonna have a tough time when the time will come to act again, I’ll tell you that.

...‘Cause unless, when that Election Day comes and he is not returning from a homeless shelter where he just spent half a day delivering hot lunches to the needy and if he’s not being pushed in a wheelchair (generously donated by CNIB but accidentally covered in corporate sponsor stickers) by a recently recovered heroin addict who is now taking night classes in political science and if he’s not clinging on to his newly adopted baby from some earthquake ravaged country while delivering his speech in Tagalog and Mandarin, fashioning a turban and proudly showing off his ceremonial dagger, hmmm...and here’s the punch line, if he’s not finally coming out of the closet under the over lovingly and supporting glances of his Vision Caucus, well, if his six advisors cannot come up with at least half of the points on this list, well...I guess, he simply cannot win.

And of course, nobody could say it better than George W. :

"Let me start off by saying that in 2000 I said, 'Vote for me. I'm an agent of change.' In 2004, I said, 'I'm not interested in change --I want to continue as president.' Every candidate has got to say 'change.' That's what the American people expect." —Washington, D.C., March 5, 2008

Yes, you may feel free to place the years and copy/paste locations accordingly.
Done. Hey, looking in the mirror I’ve realized I have to give myself a three day beard look, ‘cause all this razor shaving is cutting down on my writing time. Cool.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Mike, I was struck by your phrase " see, Gregor has a bit of a reputation for being an intellectual lightweight. ".
You are a master of understatement Mike.

I'm not sure quoting Gary Mason is ever a good strategy.

Where is Gary Mason? he won a Webster covering the NPA's foibles but has gone to sleep now that cutie boy is in the big chair. Please don't tell me he and Frances are both in the same camp now that she's moved over to the Globe. Mason should be covering what Robertson and company are doing to our city, rather than all the puff pieces about how nice Gregor's smile is. Robertson is our own version of Sarah Palin, except he doesn't quite have her smarts.

Glissando Remmy.
Loved your Hollywood bit! LOL
Mike & Daniel,you should ask this guy for a guest shot on your blog. No, seriously. He's "so money". He makes sense in a funny way! BTW, I don't know about others, but IMO you give Robertson too much credit for his personal appearance. Looks should always come secondary to his (dis)ability to do the job. Let's talk more about that!!!

This is Glissando's world.

The rest of us just revel in it.

"...he is gonna have a tough time when the time will come to act again, I’ll tell you that."

Glisando, that's where you're wrong; politicians don't "act" in Vancouver. They drift, like the loose logs on the Fraser River. They float along until the river's current or a tug's wake pushes them this way or that. By saying that mayors in Vancouver "act", you're incorrectly ascribing responsibility to them.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us spinning our wheels.

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