Just when we didn't think Rob Ford could embarrass himself any further: After Ford's comments Thursday on his drinking habits and sex life (and, um, smoking crack and threatening murder) the Toronto mayor has been stripped of some of his mayoral powers. The Toronto city council met Friday to discuss ways to keep Ford from further mortifying Toronto — and, according to some, the whole of North America — since Ford flat-out refuses to step down by himself.
In today's special meeting, the council tried to contain the damage by voting on measures that would go toward rendering Ford a harmless figurehead until next year's mayoral election. (Basically, the real-life version of that bobblehead Ford was selling in an ill-advised PR move early this week.) One measure approved Friday reassigned responsibility emergency management plans for the city. The vote was overwhelming: 39 favored the measure, and of the three who voted against it, two were Ford and his brother. Another, which was approved 41-2 with Fords opposing, proposed to take away the mayor's authority to add and remove members of his executive committee.
A third measure, to be debated Monday, would cut to the chase and give all mayoral powers and duties to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. That proposal would also slash Ford's budget to the amount of an average city council member's. (We also suspect the average city council member spends less money on booze and crack.)
What led to this drastic move? Well, first Ford was videotaped smoking crack and, later, threatening "first-degree murder" — which he somehow thought he could excuse by pointing out he was "deeply inebriated" at the time. (The crack thing was different, he said: that was during a "drunken stupor.") After his apparent alcoholism surfaced in court documents on Wednesday, the Toronto council tried to take the dignified way out and asked Ford to resign. He, of course, refused.
Yesterday, after once again disclosing his intention to remain in office, Ford veered into unexpected territory. He denied more or less all the allegations in the court documents, including accusations of performing oral sex on a staffer, when he dropped the best quote of his career: "I’m happily married, I’ve got more than enough to eat at home."
Ford later apologized for his comments, but it was definitely too little, and way too late. For even more entertainment than Ford naturally exudes, check out Jon Stewart's assessment of the "one-man episode of COPS" that is the mayor of Toronto: