“Yes, one day I do want to run for Prime Minister.” —Rob Ford
Rob Ford can’t speak French. That, in normal times, is enough to discourage someone who aspires to be Prime Minister. There are other annoyances: prospective candidates for the big job need to get elected by their own party, and usually some constituents, and then the whole country. It’s a big country. Few are suited to the challenge. Smoking crack doesn’t help.
But, some day, Rob Ford wants to run for Prime Minister. Laughable doesn’t cover such aspiration. The man is, by any reasonable measure, wholly unsuited for the rigours of the job. He shouldn’t live at 24 Sussex Drive. He’s the kind of guy who will park a car illegally for several hours, cameras rolling as he emerges. He’ll apologize for mistakes that run way beyond his enemies’ wildest expectations, and then find new ways to screw up. To repeat any of this is to state the blindingly obvious.
So, yes, everyone should laugh at Ford’s federal aspirations. But don’t doubt that he’ll give it a shot.
The art of predicting Ford’s popularity is a fool’s game, and everyone thinks they have the answer. He’s finally lost Ford Nation, some say. He’s still got a lock on the suburbs, others will reply. His only fans are “excited juvenile dumb-ass hosers,” some will say. His supporters’ votes count just like the rest of us, others will reply. Polls suggest that, for example, 62 per cent of Torontonians will not, under any circumstances, vote for Ford when he asks for reelection in 2014. I’d like to see those numbers again in a week, or a month.
Everyone thinks they understand Ford Nation. On Sunday, the mayor watched the Toronto Argonauts lose to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. When he left the Rogers Centre, boisterous chanting followed him to his vehicle. Someone posted the scene to Vine, where we can relive the commotion. The video’s first commenter calls the crowd a bunch of [expletive!] enablers, and adds, “This is [the] false sense of support that is going to kill this man.” Who’s to judge the authenticity of that cheering? Surely, some of it was genuine. Others among the crowd were just having fun, because people do silly things outside of stadiums, with their friends, hopped up on sports. But don’t tell the mob it doesn’t like the mayor, because that’s probably wrong.
Ford is all things to the city he ostensibly leads. People feel sorry for the addictions he denies. People hate him for his obstinacy, bullying tendencies, and outright embarrassing behaviour. People love his visceral disdain for taxes, that he doesn’t bend to unions, and that garbage doesn’t pile up on their front lawn. People hate city council for emasculating the mayor. People love city council for finally taking action. Each day brings something new, usually because the mayor decides to keep talking. Tonight, he and his brother, city councillor Doug, launch their new show on Sun News Network. Apparently, the world will watch another “exclusive” interview with the Fords on CNN. The spectacle continues.
Truly, there is no rock bottom. Ford denies there’s a bottom even to be scraped. He’s doubled down, and doubled down again, until what does that even mean anymore? He’s pure id. He wants to run for Prime Minister, whenever that time may come, and many will laugh. But, rightly, they’ll laugh nervously.
What’s above the fold
|The Globe and Mail||Rob Ford faces another battle with city council today.|
|National Post||Shobana Shoba, a Tamil Tiger, was allegedly executed in Sri Lanka in 2009.|
|Toronto Star||Council’s vote to strip Ford of his powers is unprecedented.|
|Ottawa Citizen||The feds’ shipbuilding strategy could be vastly under-budgeted.|
|CBC News||Toronto’s council is expected to go after Ford’s office budget.|
|CTV News||Ford may be mayor “in name only” after today’s votes.|
|National Newswatch||Jason Kenney‘s raised $93,000 from Chinese-Canadians in Toronto since 2007.|
What you might have missed
|THE NATIONAL||Carbon emissions. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says her government will meet its self-imposed emission reduction targets by 2020. How the feds will succeed is unclear, since they’re on track to miss them and continue to delay regulations that would curb oil and gas emissions.|
|THE GLOBAL||Iraq. A raft of suicide bombers, armed with homemade bombs, wreaked havoc on Sunday in separate attacks in northern Iraq and Baghdad. Tuz Khurmato, a Turkmen-dominated city, was hit by a suicide bomber and eight other bombs that killed 18 people. Twenty-two died in separate Baghdad attacks.|