After yet more stories of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s chronic alcohol abuse surfaced in court documents Wednesday, the City Council passed a resolution asking the Mayor to resign. While Ford has been defiant thus far, he realized that something needed to be done, as tales of his recklessness seemed to pile up more by the day. So, on Thursday morning, he scheduled a press conference, somberly approached the podium, and ... didn’t resign. Nope! Ford is staying right where he is, thank you very much.
“I fully realize in the past, I have drank alcohol in excess,” Ford said Thursday morning. “I wish you to know I am receiving support from a team of health care professionals. I am taking accountability and receiving advice from people with expertise. I do not wish to comment on the particulars of this support.”
And that’s it! In retrospect, I feel silly even expecting for a moment that Rob Ford would resign. This is a guy who was caught on tape both smoking crack cocaine and drunkenly threatening to commit “first-degree murder,” the latter of which would have been more concerning if he didn’t come across as so cartoonish and ineffectual while making the threats. The press called for him to resign after that, but he didn’t. And guess what: his poll ratings actually got better! Ford can apparently do no wrong in the eyes of much of Toronto, and he knows it, so really, why would something as puny as a City Council resolution ever compel him to step down?
Yesterday, court documents came out with a boat load of new stories about Ford’s drunken conduct. One staffer said they’d seen him “very inebriated, verbally abusive and inappropriate” with a female staff member during St. Patrick’s day last year. Another claimed that Ford once drove “very fast” while “impaired,” while another alleged to have spotted the Mayor with someone they presumed to be an escort. Ford denied all of this Thursday morning,
“These allegations are 100 percent lies,” Ford insisted today. “When you attack my integrity as a father and as a husband, I see red. Today I acted on complete impulse in my remarks.”
The “complete impulse” was in reference to a press scrum earlier in the day, where Ford made some more graphic comments and continued his protracted descent into self-parody. Denying allegations that he’d wanted to perform oral sex on a former aid, Ford explained that “I’m happily married, I’ve got more than enough to eat at home.”
He apologized for those comments at the later press conference, explaining that he’d been under “tremendous, tremendous stress” over the last six months, and that the “revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts and prostitution have pushed me over the line.”
Ford’s spoke for maybe a minute and a half, after which point he left the stage without taking any questions.