In business, if you create a better doodad, the world will beat a path to your door. Build a dud and yer facked.
And then there’s the alternate reality of Canadian politics, that fourth dimension of the obverse of genius, where the secret to success is failure.
Take, for example, three clapped out election campaigners who have perfected the art of failing upwards–Kiavash Najafi, Jack Fleischmann and John Laschinger.
Lasch is currently at the helm of Olivia Newton-Chow’s campaign and, well, er, how’s that going, John?
That’s the other thing about politics, the players have the memories of gnats. You’d think that Chow might have recalled Laschinger’s track record.
Toronto. 2010 mayoralty race. Lasch was just about to take the reins of the Adam Giambrone campaign when the front-runner pulled his sexting cock-up. Instead, Lasch backed Joe Pantalone. Breep!
Back in his potato salad days, Lasch piloted the demise of John Crosbie, who had designs on the leadership of the federal Tories. Whoops! And don’t forget Tom McInnis for Nova Scotia Tory leader in ’91, Bud Smith’s failed run at the B.C. Socred leadership in ’86, or Larry Grossman for Ontario Tory leader. James Edwards’ bid to replace Byron Muldoon in ’93, Gerry Meinzer for Toronto mayor in ’94, and Belinda Stronach for Tory leader in ‘04?
We could go on.
Even Lasch’s victories came with a whiff.
He got David Miller elected on a campaign promise—dreamed up by Lasch–to clean up all those back door insider deals at City Hall. Then came news that a $400,000 city contract had been shoveled to an outfit called Northstar Research Partners, which turned out to be, er, Lasch’s company!
Don’t forget John Tory’s 2007 run for Ontario premier, another crash and burn presided over by Lasch. When the smoke cleared, Larue had trousered an estimated $750,000 fee from his losing candidate.
Which brings us to Campaign Guru #2, Kiavash Najafi, last seen a couple of weeks ago, bolting from Chow Nation.
One of the NDP’s top losebags (strategists, shurely?!—ed.), Najafi jumped ship to campaign for Catherine McKenney, former city-hall sushiest, running for councilor in Ottawa.
Najafi brings a track record unblemished by success.
He worked on Jennifer Hollett’s campaign against Linda McQuaig for the Toronto Centre federal NDP nomination. When Hollett lost, Najafi slid over to Team McQuaig, only to suffer another defeat as Linda got drubbed by Chrystia Freeland.
Najafi completed the knee dip trifecta when his boy, Joe Cressy, went down to Liberal Adam Vaughan in a by-election.
Last and certainly least, Jack Fleischmann, past master at successful screw-ups.
Jack was recently punted from his supremoship of CTV News Channel, his programming genius underappreciated.
Who can forget Jack’s innovative creations at CTV?
–Kevin Newman Live! (Cancelled!)
–National Affairs, starring Scott Reid, Tasha Kheiriddin and Rudyard Griffiths. (DOA!)
–The Pattie Lovett-Reid Show. (Glug!)
–Dr. Marla and Friends. (Splat!)
But you can’t keep a good wanker down and we see a rosy future ahead for Jack with Justine Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada.
Any day now the Grits will announce that he’s been appointed imperial wizard of the Libs’ TV advertising strategy for the 2015 federal election.
And why not? Jack’s record speaks for itself.
He had the same gig in the 2006 campaign as the brainiac behind Red Leaf, the Liberal ad agency behind the “Soldiers with guns. In our cities.” spot. That steamer triggered a backlash against the Grits, and then–PM Junior Martin went down in flames.
Shurely this time will be different.