Rob Ford might have fallen out of global headlines, but he remains mayor of Toronto, and he’s about to launch his re-election campaign.
That launch promises “history in the making”, which is not a bad description of his effort to date, even if it’s not the sort of history that he or his compatriots might have liked.
He’s principally been making the kind of history that makes people enraged, most recently with the news that he has been considering starring in a reality TV series.
The approach reportedly came when he was in Los Angeles to record an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show (see clip at the foot of the page).
For these and numerous other reasons, the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper is infuriated by the city’s much lampooned mayor.
In a bravura, exasperated editorial, headlined “Rob Ford, still setting the bar as low as it will go”, the Toronto-based paper makes its case:
Mr Ford’s message to the voting public is this: I may have smoked crack while in office and I may have lied to your faces about it; and shady characters in the drug underworld may have recorded me on a cellphone video while smoking said crack; and I may have a very close friend who has been charged with extortion related to attempts to recover that video from gang members after its existence became public knowledge; and I may have been recorded on other occasions ranting incoherent, inebriated death threats and calling the Chief of Police unmentionable names; and I may have referred to my wife in a startlingly vulgar manner; and I may have purchased illegal drugs while in office; and I may have driven drunk; and I may have alienated the entire City Council and been politically neutered; and I may have made Toronto, in particular, and Canada, in general, a laughingstock; but I have done nothing wrong.
As Mr Ford put it in a recent interview, “I am not a criminal.” That’s his ethical benchmark. As long as he can get away with illicit behaviour and demonstrate singularly poor judgment – and do it from this side of a jail cell – he considers himself solid mayoral material.
The truth, of course, is that the police investigation is still going on, and that Mr. Ford has done plenty wrong. The list above was not exhaustive, and it doesn’t even touch on this stuff you would normally judge a politician on, namely his bad political ideas. He is not mayoral material. That said, we don’t deny his appeal to the producer of such shows as Top Hooker and Ghost Hunters. Maybe he could star in a show called People Who Should Not Be Mayor. You know, with people like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Lindsay Lohan…
See also: Rob Ford, making Canadians super-proud