The votes have been cast, and the damage is done - Rob Ford is Toronto's mayor.
There's plenty to criticize about Rob Ford. I'm not a fan of his whiny voice and the way his beady eyes close while he's talking; to say he "lacks polish" is a gross understatement, and it's left to wonder how he'll represent what Toronto really is all about on the international stage. One also wonders how he can control spending in the largest and most culturally diverse city in the country when he evidently can't control his, um, appetite, or exercise regimen. Outgoing Mayor David Miller had run a marathon, and drop-out Rocco Rossi (whom I endorsed) had kayaked solo from Toronto to Ottawa; these young, healthy, educated (Harvard and Princeton, respectively) types are evidently not what Toronto wants.
I hope he proves wrong all those who are literally frightened at the prospect of what Toronto may become by the time he's done with it.
I hope he proves me wrong and is not an embarrassment to the city.
Don't get me wrong - all human beings are allowed to make mistakes, it's just a part of being human. If you know me at all, you know I've made my goodly share of mistakes.
I certainly won't make a mountain out of every molehill.
However, the sound bite gaffes he committed during his campaign will likely continue once he takes office (he is who he is, after all). He might even allow his big win to embolden him to feel more comfortable talking stupidity. Comments he will make that support the concerns that he is insensitive to the fabric that makes Toronto what it is will be magnified by all the watchers hoping he falls on his face and proves them right.
When David Miller swept into office, I had high hopes. Clearly, what he did with his tenure turned Torontonians off to such a degree that they voted for as far across the spectrum from Miller as they could. I think it is fair to say that, in the court of public opinion, Miller failed expectations (someone please explain to me, by the way, how a poll suggested that, if Miller had run, he'd have won again; yet, the city is apparently overly willing to far to the opposite direction? Hard to grasp the "science" in "political science"...but I digress...).
So, now, with Mr. Ford, I have rock bottom expectations. That ought to bode well - how do you fall short of meeting low expectations?
Unfortunately, I suspect he'll find a way to do it.
Buckle up, Toronto - we're in for a rough four years.