The big news: Rob Ford’s ambition knows no bounds

The mayor says he wants to be Prime Minister, and the country nervously laughs


Chris Young/CP

“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.


The big news: Rob Ford’s ambition knows no bounds

  1. Blond Ambition….it all works. LOL

    • They got exactly what they wanted to elect: a fiscal Conservative. Which is exactly why he’ll win re-election next year.

      • If he wins again it will be proof positive that right-wingers will vote for anyone carrying their banner, without giving any thought to the character of the person in question.

        • Yeah, but he spent 1.5 billion. You know, people should look at what he does, not what he says. They are not the same thing.

          • Follow the link – it’s a debunking of Ford’s claim

      • So, they endorsed criminal behaviour? When will we be legalizing the purchase of illicit drugs and operating a motor vehicle while drunk?

  2. Rob Ford and Lester B Pearson on the same page? Using crack creates magical fantasies…

  3. It’s nearly noon, already. Time for RoFo’s apology of the day…

  4. He hasn’t stolen from the taxpayers, so I am good to keep him on. Has Liberal spenders, mafia, cops, unions, dopers all wanting him out, sounds like he represents better than the other two councilors that get low rent for favours media wants out. Last thing the corrupt groups want is a lose canon in the kitchen…. for this reason I support Ford as the only other options are corrupt government managing us types.

    Macleans, please don’t let Harper off the hook with crooked senators and MP….no the NDP not paying taxes or the Liberal offshore tax evasions.

    Fact is our governments are wasteful, inefficient and crooked I would vote for the town bum if they were honest as I am tired of having my ballots rigged with tax-me-more statism types.

    • ” I would vote for the town bum”
      But for his family’s wealth, that would be an apt description of the current mayor.

    • Ford is honest? Seems to me he’s repeatedly lied to the entire City. He has no credibility left.

  5. Well, using taxpayer paid staff to do your laundry, pick up your dry cleaning, do your grocery shopping, buy booze and do chores around the house IS stealing from the taxpayers. Does he send city staff over to do those jobs for constituents? I bet not. And he may well be paying criminals and drug dealers with taxpayers money for illegal substances.

    I think he has lost street cred and is clearly a “one rule for me, another rule for you losers” kinda guy.

  6. But don’t tell the mob it doesn’t like the mayor, because that’s probably wrong.

    I agree that it’s tough to judge the mayor’s popularity these days, but popularity and elect-ability aren’t necessarily synonymous either.

    Miley Cyrus or Snooki would have probably received a warm reception from the crowd too, but that doesn’t mean anyone wants them to be Chief Magistrate.

    The mayor and his brother seem to think that being able to sell bobblehead dolls, or get cheered by drunk football fans means that the mayor’s still a viable candidate. Stranger things have happened (THIS WEEK!) but I nonetheless think that they’re underestimating the degree to which crazy out-of-control celebrities are always popular, and they’re confusing celebrity and morbid curiosity for respect and admiration.

      • I was confused. I thought Nick’s reference to mob referred to organized crime, gangs etc.

        Before Ford Nation jumps all over me, lets me be clear (Harper clear even), I do not believe that anything Ford has done to date could be called organized crime.

        To meet that criteria, it would have to become, you know, organized.

        • Clever though that would have been, I’m referring to the literal mob outside the Rogers Centre.

    • Votes and elections are popularity contests. ‘Qualifications’ for the job don’t enter into it.

      It’s more visible in the US because they have far more ‘colorful characters’ for the photo-ops,

      Stock Day was….>this close<….to being PM. Conrad Black and the NatPost backed him.

      In the end it was only a reminder that he was a religious nut that saved us.

      • Exhibit A: Justin Trudeau.
        Exhibit B: Barack Obama.

  7. As long as he continues to enjoy the PM`s full support, Ford may be under the impression that he is the anointed one to take over when the big boss decides it`s time to move on. Has Harper given Ford the nod?

  8. Why did the left run a drug addict against him last time if drugs ‘er bad?

  9. I’ll take him as mayor over the sour Adam Vaughn types any day.

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