When I think of John Tory's political career, I can't help but think of Alec Baldwin's classic monologue from Glengarry Glen Ross: "Nice guy, I don't give a s---. Good father....go home and play with your kids". Chistina Blizzard has the most clichéd line about the end of Tory's political career imaginable: "I suspect Tory will go down in history as the best premier this province never had." I predicted last night that at least one pundit would write that today - how could they resist? Other than there is no basis based on his actual career to conclude that it's true. I have no reason to believe that Tory isn't a good guy, or a good father for that matter. (I volunteered on his mayoral campaign at a very peripheral level and still think he would have made an exponentially better mayor than David Miller; of course, the same could be said about the half-empty cup of coffee on my desk.) But why in the world would anyone think he is the "best premier this province never had"? Policy? The reason religious schools became such a big issue last campaign is it was the only policy proposal he made that was different, interesting, innovative or in any way spoke to what type of premier he wanted to be. He had a chance to put forward an agenda and he put forward gobbly goop and religious schools. For that, he rightly got destroyed. Ability to connect with voters? He lost two very winnable local elections. Ability to connect with his own party? I have a lot of Conservative friends. Not a single one of them was excited about campaigning for him in 2011. He made the grip Stephane Dion had on the Liberal Party look rock solid. Political instincts? As Blizzard herself writes in the same column, he has "the worst political instincts of any politician I know". So other than him being a "good guy" and a "hard worker," what in the world could possibly qualify Tory for the title of best premier we never had? Surely the bar is higher than "good guy" and "hard worker" to qualify for such an honour. Otherwise, I nominate the person who works at the coffee place down the street from my office. She works her butt off and is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Just not sure she is the best premier Ontario never had.
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