The media man crush continues for Robertson

Post by Mike Klassen in


Robertson: Sears Catalog model good looks

On Wednesday night I was among a few parents invited to attend a gathering organized by local elementary school administrators. I had just jumped off a plane from the Island, and had only enough time to grab a quick change of attire from home and get down to hear a speech by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

When I arrived, I sat in the back of the room beside the school administrator who invited me just as Robertson began talking. The topic of his speech was supposed to be on how to raise a child with a social and environmental conscience. What Robertson did deliver was an off-the-cuff, rambling 25-minute speech. Gregor, apparently, likes to keep it real.

I've never seen one of Robertson's ad libbed talks in person – only on YouTube and through TV sound bites. As much as I'm sure many in the room felt honoured by the presence of the City's top elected official, it felt to me like he phoned it in. I didn't stick around after the speech to ask what others felt, but from my vantage point at the back of the room it was clear that he got through to at least some of the audience. I could see the heads of some women sitting before me nodding as he spoke.

Robertson's talk was hardly original stuff. He took his key platform planks – moving people from sleeping outside to pews and mats in empty warehouses, greenwashing Vancouver, and paying lip service to the arts community – and wove them into a feelgood spiel about children. "It's important that our kids see us taking action," Gregor said. "We need to walk the walk so they can follow in our footsteps." No cliché was safe that night.

To me the Mayor's remarks were meandering, and his speaking style reminded me of a valedictorian. Inside I was screaming, get thee to Toastmasters – stat! But for the folks who were nodding at Gregor's remarks I can only guess that Robertson's aw shucks mannerisms endeared him to them.

It's a puzzle to me that halfway through his term instead of considering the substance (or lack thereof) of Robertson's words, many media still concentrate on his appearance. Oddly it's male journalists who seem to discuss Robertson's Sears catalog good looks the most. For example, last weekend in a story published by the Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lieberman gave this sensual account of Robertson in New York:

Robertson's youthful good looks didn't go unnoticed in New York. During Monday night's panel, the moderator, David Owen of The New Yorker magazine, assured the crowd that Robertson was in fact mayor of Vancouver, and not president of the student council. The mayor smiled bashfully.

Of course, we've provided multiple examples of this phenomenon that has seized Vancouver City Hall.

Recall when a couple of Globe and Mail reporters penned this sexxed up copy:

"His brown hair slightly mussed, coloured by sprigs of grey, Mr. Robertson leads officials and reporters on the line's inaugural run. "Smooth," the smiling mayor comments, "a sweet ride."

And of course we talked about when another local scribe wrote 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.

Given this media obsession with looks, those who might think about taking on Gregor in 2011 are probably wondering whether a facelift or tummy tuck is in order. But for the general public clearly there is something else that the Mayor must represent to them. He may fumble for words and at times he won't make sense, but as long as he comes across like the boy next door, Robertson might be unbeatable in politics.

- post by Mike


The Thought Of The Day

“Calvin Klein called. He said, if his brand name Boxer Shorts fit, it must be...La Testiculance!”

This read of yours Mike, was by far, the most wasted three minutes of my life. No, seriously! By the time I’ve reached the middle of it, I said to myself: “Wow, even a brainless amoeba will try to find a photo of this Robertson guy. It’s only Protozoan nature!“
On the other hand, my good friend Will penned it best in Much Ado About Nothing:

“What, courage man! What though care killed a cat,
Thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.”

So I see a fifty-fifty chance for your redemption here.
Next time when you want to shoot yourself in the foot send me an E-Mail beforehand. I want to be there to witness it, and also to make sure you don’t miss. No pun intended!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Sad to say but politics here is even more image driven than ever. Vancouver has had young-ish mayors in the past (Art Phillips, Gordon Campbell), but those guys had a little more to say. Let's face it, the media are probably doing their best given what they have to work with.

Gregor is hot, we all know that. We also know he isn't the smartest mayor we've ever had, by a mile. He's a nice looking poster boy that keeps people distracted while the the unions get to do their dirty work behind the scenes.

If you thought the media weren't impacted by someone's looks, think again. They too can be impacted by a politicians good looks. Just take a look at how they report on Carole Taylor compared to other female politicians. There is clearly a double standard.

Great piece. I like how you're keeping the media honest.

There is something odd about the looks of all our politicoes at at the moment and I have come to suspect that they may be androids.

Take the Harpoid, for example. An obvious first attempt by aliens who thought Thunderbirds was real. Then the Campboid, inspired by Joe 90. That stare like a rabbit on Ritalin suggests a faulty program in continuous fear of exposure. One day he will start droning "This does not compute", smoke will come out his ears and he will self destruct.

Finally the piece de resistance, the mark III Robertsoid, the product of years of analysing 'Vancouver' magazine and 'West Coast Living'. No visible strings and yet, like Space 1999, still not quite right.

Following in the footsteps of Architect David Vincent you must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun!

I thank Mr. Roberston for the bike lane on one of our busiest bridges that will never suffer from wear and tear (even as as serious cyclist, I object to this foolish feel good decision) and I thank him for our 91 hours per week of metered street parking, which sets a North American record.

Thank you Major Roberston for taking more money from us at every possible occasion, in a city that has the highest average real estate cost per income ratio in the world. Perhaps if people could think at least as well as they can see, we'd have a mayor who is at least as smart as he is pretty.

Check out!

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