The leader of the largest city in Canada, an admitted liar, crack user, and problem drinker, shrunk down to a hunk of wobbling plastic.
The man himself, smiling like Dean Martin at happy hour, autographs his likeness knowing this charity fundraiser simply underscores what he has always believed: there is no such thing as bad publicity.
When sex tapes can elevate socialites to A-list celebrities and an international shaming just means more money for a book deal, being the fodder of late night comics is the equivalent of a generous LinkedIn endorsement.
Ford’s first reaction to being confronted by his own behavior is to lie. He did it when claiming not to have been at a hockey game where he verbally abused a young couple. He did it when asked if he was ever busted for marijuana possession. The only way Ford ever admits to what he’s done is when forced to by overwhelming evidence.
We would not tolerate this kind of behavior from a school crossing guard. We would throw a pastor from the pulpit if it happened in our churches.
Many of the people who lined up to buy a Ford bobblehead offered words of support to the Mayor.
“Don’t let the haters get you down,” said one man.
He’s a political Snooki, a heavy set Kardashian, a balding Omarosa from the first season of The Apprentice. The character everyone loves to loathe, but can’t do without. Don’t fire him. Don’t throw him out of office. He’s the reason we tune into this political drama in the first place.
His supporters list his achievements like union peace, cutting taxes, and slashing councilor perquisites. But leadership is more than ticking off a list of to-dos, it requires trust and character. Ford, regardless how many little plastic yes-men he sells, has proven he struggles on both counts.
It is one thing that our television is full of anti-hero types who simultaneously make us cheer and cringe.
It is another thing entirely when the same type of characters become elected officials.
No amount of bobbleheads should make that entertaining.
Rob Ford is different. Rob Ford is a celebrity.
© Shaw Media, 2013