Because I was busy doing real world stuff, I was a bit late to the news about the latest video/audio recording/Beiber feud, etc. As I scrambled to get caught up, I was initially filled with schadenfreude and hope for Toronto. Ford was going away! Yah!
But then, as I digested the news, I realized that no, Toronto isn’t rid of him yet. He’s just taking a leave of absence, a break really, to deal with his “problem with alcohol.” He’s not resigning, he’s not quitting the mayoral race, he’s not giving up politics. All my excitement melted and now I just feel angry.
I’m angry for the reasons that we’ve all heard before: Ford’s embarrassing Toronto, distracting us from real issues and dividing us in fractions while promoting casual sexism, racism and homophobia. But I’m also angry because I can’t help but feel like we’re being played; that this “break” is just the next act in the performance otherwise knowns as Rob Ford, A Changed Man.
As of 7 pm on Thursday night, it’s not clear what Ford’s immediate plans on but I suspect that whatever his does, his team will be closely watching the public mood and calculating when and how to bring him back. And yes, I believe that he’ll be back. Only jail, a body bag or maybe an ICU bed is going to keep Rob Ford out of the mayoral race. After all, right now, it’s about all he has (he never clicked with the family business, he’s catch really coach football anymore and I’m sure his house is a very unhappy place right now).
In additional to alcohol, I suspect that Ford is addicted to political life; that he can’t fully quit it, even though it’s clearly not a good fit for him. Does he know this? I bet that deep down he does and maybe that plays a part in why he keeps doing so many stupid things. He’s self-sabotaging.
Despite what he says, I don’t think that Ford truly, 100 per cent wants to be mayor. He might like the idea, and certain aspects of this job, but I don’t he really wants to win a second term.
Of course, come June or whenever he’s back, this won’t be the story we’re hearing. Instead we’ll get some kind of redemption story on steroids and the BS we’ll hear… It’ll be mind-blowing.
Thankfully, I don’t think it’ll be enough to win Ford another term. Oh, it’ll appeal to his hardcores—Ford could kill a puppy and a disturbing amount of people would still vote for him as long as he promised not to raise taxes —but I don’t believe that there is enough of them to push him into a second term.
Unless John Tory were to drop out. Then we might be in trouble.
Oh please higher powers, don’t let John Tory drop out. Don’t let him win but please, keep him around to split the vote.
Hmmm… I bet Rod Ford says that same pray every night.