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Toronto councillor and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone (Fred Lum/FRED LUM/ THE GLOBE AND MAILDIGITAL IMAGE)
Toronto councillor and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone (Fred Lum/FRED LUM/ THE GLOBE AND MAILDIGITAL IMAGE)

Margaret Wente

Being bad in Toronto the Good Add to ...

Toronto city politics are hardly scintillating at the best of times. So we owe a vote of thanks to Adam Giambrone, the brash young mayoral candidate who turned out to be too hot for politics. His was a textbook case of self-immolation. First, he doused himself with gasoline, and then he lit the match. By Wednesday, nothing was left but a greasy smudge on the floor of the council chamber.

The reason Mr. Giambrone is unfit to be mayor is not that he is horny. Nor is it that he two-timed his loyal live-in girlfriend with a buxom 20-year-old party girl named Kristen Lucas, who cheerily spilled her story - and her awesome cleavage - to the media. The reason is that he's an idiot. Did he learn nothing from Tiger Woods? The moral of that story ought to be engraved on the cellphones of cheaters everywhere: Whatever else you do, don't have text with that woman!

When confronted by Ms. Lucas's tale, Mr. Giambrone, who is 32 but looks lots younger, made his second goof. He pretended to confess, but lied. He admitted to a "relationship" that was "inappropriate" and a "serious lapse in judgment," but he claimed it had never involved sex and they had met only in "public places." Perhaps he had forgotten that message he had sent telling Ms. Lucas she looked good naked. (Of course, she kept it.)

She also kept the one in which he described his long-suffering girlfriend, Sarah McQuarrie, as nothing but a prop for his mayoral bid. "You know I will be announcing I have a partner," he wrote. "It is important for the campaign … I had to have someone political."

You can forgive a guy for cheating. You can't forgive him for being a total cad.

That was the last straw. You can forgive a guy for cheating. You can't forgive him for being a total cad.

It turns out Ms. Lucas isn't the only other woman Mr. Giambrone had text with. By Wednesday he had confessed to multiple affairs, and tearfully threw in the towel.

"I don't think there are many males in this city who could afford to have their hormones closely examined," one city councillor said.

Well, that's not news. Even Mel Lastman, a truly bad but amiable mayor who provided much comic relief in his day, turned out to have had a secret affair.

What amazes me about these people is why they think they won't get caught - especially in a tell-all age when every contact leaves a digital trail.

Did Eliot Spitzer really think his encounters with expensive hookers (after a career of busting prostitution rings) would go forever undetected? Did John Edwards really figure he could keep his flaky girlfriend and their love child a secret while running for the most public job in the world? Did Mr. Giambrone never fret that Ms. Lucas (an aspiring actress, we are told) might get the least bit miffed when he broke the news to her (by text) that he was not living with his family (the excuse he gave for his failure to invite her home), but with another woman? Or that she might enjoy having her assets splashed all over Page 1?

My guess is that such men don't think about these things at all. They are such extreme narcissists (a helpful trait in politics) that no one is ever quite as real to them as they are to themselves. That includes their wives, their children and all the people who have busted their tails on their behalf.

Sadly, this may be the high point of our mayoral race. Mr. Giambrone's exit leaves behind three middle-aged white guys, one of whom is married to another man. Naturally that's not an issue around here, unless he's having text with other people on the sly.

Mr. Giambrone, who looked genuinely shattered at his press conference Wednesday, is even attracting a bit of sympathy (though not from me) and his long-suffering girlfriend is standing by him. I desperately hope that one of these days some humiliated spouse will whack the guy with a frying pan. I'd give good money to see that.

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