What is it about certain big-city mayors succumbing to the siren call of crack rock? Like Washington, D.C.’s own Marion “Bitch Set Me Up” Berry before him, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is now discovering that it’s a bit tricky to hang onto one’s position as trusted servant of the people once convincing proof emerges that one has visited the business end of a base pipe (and inhaled).
On Tuesday, Ford confessed to the press that he did, in fact, smoke crack in a “drunken stupor” about a year ago—a charge he had denied despite persistent rumors and claims of videotaped proof—but was unwilling to step down over the scandal. In fact, his plan to run for re-election next year remained intact as of press time.
“I love my job, I love this city,” Ford said, taking complete responsibility (a notable departure from Berry’s playbook) for his narcotic transgression and urging his constituents to move forward with him. “I know I have to regain your trust and confidence,” he allowed.
He also denied that he is an addict or an alcoholic, which would perhaps be heartening news for the people of Toronto if it didn’t also handily demonstrate the most hackneyed defense tactic of the bona fide addict or alcoholic.
As for the footage that has dogged him for months—and that spurred Gawker to launch its own crowdfunding campaign to buy the evidence—Ford said he not only wanted to make it public but to make it into a teachable moment. “I want everyone in the city to see this tape,” he declared. “I don’t even recall there being a tape or video. I want to see the state that I was in.”
Whether Ford’s public display of contrition will satisfy his (evaporating) pool of supporters remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Gawker might not have scored the incriminating tape, but the online outlet did make sure to air video of Ford’s mea culpa Tuesday. Have a look here.
—Posted by Kasia Anderson.
Shaun Merritt (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Better times: Rob Ford poses with a familiar-looking puppet at a mayoral candidates forum at the University of Toronto in 2010.