It’s hard out there for a big city mayor – just ask “mayor for life” Marion Berry, maybe one of the worlds first viral video superstars, before you could ever get viral.
But Toronto’s colorful Mayor Rob Ford has taken the term “going to another level,” to a whole other, WAY different other level.
It started in May 2013 when the Toronto Star reported they had seen a cellphone video that showed Ford smoking crack cocaine. He denied everything about the video (which also showed him with known gang members) until a few weeks ago, when Ford decided to come clean and admit that, yeah, he smoked crack. He called the admission, “the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.”
And Ford has done a lot of embarrassing things.
(No, that’s not Ford. That’s his stunt double, the mayor of Marcus Hook. He drunkenly kidnapped an underage boy at gunpoint and demanded oral sex.)
This is Rob Ford (Daniel Dale/Toronto Star/Getty)
At least Mayor Ford seems really sorry about the crack smoking mess he’s caught up in. “You know what? I made mistakes, I drank too much. I smoked some crack sometimes. What can I say? I made a mistake, I’m guilty.”
Oh riiiight, “yeah, about that – I forgot that crack binge thingee, but I was in a drunken stupor, see? Oh boy, you know what, maybe I shouldn’t be running the biggest city in the country,” said Rob Ford NEVER.
Ford did declare just after his crack-smoking confession, “one day I do want to run for prime minister.” Hmmm. Maybe higher office is his calling? What other figure in in Canadian politics has the guts to come right out and scream (with a red face and spit flying out of his mouth), “Are you some kind of right-wing commie bastard? Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?” Ford had the guts and courage to stand up for himself and say this to a constituent who challenged the mayor to stop screaming at a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game.
Yup, those mayors love their sports. In 1992, I was in Wilmington’s Rodney Square with the late-great sports loving Dan Frawley, and he too was cheering pretty loudly, as Greg LeMond won the first Tour de Trump (later Tour DuPont). The always quotable Ford had strong feelings about cyclists, too: “Cyclists are assholes.”
Maybe Ford, like Frawley, will get a stadium named after him, since they were both great athletes. Once.
Now that’s a two-step drop.
I don’t think Ford will become Prime Minister though, because he likes being mayor. “Mark my words my friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election and I’m going to do everything in my power, everything in my power to beat you guys.” Re-election??? He ain’t afraid, you have to give him that.
We’ve had our share of tough guy mayors down here in the Delaware Valley over the years.
Dennis Williams packed a flashy white-gripped pistol to work when he passed legislation in dangerous downstate Dover, on the always rough and tumble floor of Legislative Hall. The former police officer might need a Gatling gun to keep him safe in Wilmington, as his campaign promise to make violent crime disappear in less than a year sound comically Rob Fordish (in case you’ve been living under a rock behind barred windows with a steel reinforced door, there have been a record 143 shootings in Wilmington this year).
But no one talks tougher than Rob Ford. In an animated video he rants, “I’ll rip his f**king throat out. I’ll poke his eyes out. I will, f**k, when he’s dead, you help me make sure that motherf**ker’s dead. I need f**king ten minutes to make sure he’s dead. It’ll be over in five minutes.”
So do you need ten minutes or five minutes, mister wordsmith?
Maybe Ford isn’t much of a numbers guy, as this 2005 quote about LGBT progam funding might prove: “I don’t understand. Number one, I don’t understand transgender. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl, or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we’re funding this for – I don’t know, what does it say here – we’re giving them $3,210?”
So he’s a little stuporfied, so what?
And he not always that insensitive either. He loves Asians. “Those Oriental people work like dogs. They sleep beside their machines. I’m telling you, the Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over.”
Yup, crack can make you paranoid.
He may occasionally say the wrong things just once in a blue moon, but still, Ford does tell the truth. Mostly. When he’s not lying about smoking crack. “All I can do is reassure the people that I don’t know what to say.” Don’t know what to say?