Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is a colorful politician — sort of like Genghis Khan was a colorful Mongol. As politicians go, he makes Jesse Ventura look like Woodrow Wilson. Loud, belligerent, passionate, controversial…Mayor Ford is a gift from heaven for reporters used to covering the standard boring politicians.
Throughout his career, Ford has been a bull in Canada’s political china shop. In the latest of a long line of controversies, the Mayor first denied the existence of a video purporting to show him smoking crack. Months later, he finally admitted that yes, he had smoked crack cocaine. But he went on to excuse that behavior by saying that it was during “one of my drunken stupors.”
Well, that’s okay then.
This dubious excuse puts Hizzoner in fine company:
- San Diego Mayor Bib Filner excused numerous charges of sexual harassment by calling himself “demonstrable” (sic), “outgoing” and “a hugger of both men and women.”
- Congressman Charles Rangel excused his failure to tell the Internal Revenue Service about the $75,000 in income he received from a shore side villa in the Dominican Republic by explaining that he couldn’t understand Spanish well enough to read the financial statements nor understand his Dominican business partners.
- Former Congressman Vito Fossella, after being arrested for DUI, argued that his 0.17 percent blood-alcohol level was not the result of a drinking binge but was caused by the alcohol contained in the hand sanitizer he used hours before.
- Congressman Richard Kelly excused a video showing him stuffing his pocket with $25,000 in bribes from associates of a wealthy Arab sheik — who turned out to be undercover FBI agents — that he was actually conducting his own personal undercover operation.
By the way, Mayor Ford is no newbie when it comes to lame excuses. In 2006, the then-city councilor was thrown out of a Maple Leafs game for getting into drunken, expletive-laden arguments with fans (whom he referred to as “communists”). When asked about the incident by reporters, Ford at first said he wasn’t even at the game, but later admitted he was, saying “I had one too many beers, and I sincerely apologize.”
A RonnBlog tip for young would-be politicos: when dealing with the press or the public, it’s best to avoid the words “drunken stupor”.
Today’s Fact Cetera
It is illegal to ride a street car on Sunday in Toronto if you have been eating garlic.