What commentators are saying about the mayor's spectacular fall.
A judge has prematurely ended Rob Ford’s mayoralty. Yes, there’s still more legal maneuvering to come. The mayor will appeal, and he could be granted a stay that would keep him in office until his appeal is over. For the moment, though, what’s important is that Ford is in a jam—a jam so sticky (and, for his opponents, so sweet) that no writer can resist pausing for a lick or two. Here is what everyone is saying about the mayor’s demotion to mayor-for-now.
There has been some international interest in the Ford case. Bloomberg has a piece, and so does The Atlantic‘s cities blog. Vice is lamenting the fact that “Toronto just fired the greatest mayor of all time,” although the article messes up a lot of details. Forbes had a little something, as did a paper in Albany, New York, whose editors decided to dub Ford “Canada’s Chris Christie.” (Let us know if you’ve spotted more out-of-town press mentions.)
Here at home, you might expect the Toronto Sun, Ford’s one and only consistent backer in the media, to be awash with righteous anger today. Actually, the lack of overreaction there is almost disappointing. A mild cover sets the tone (no flaming letters?), and there there’s this piece by the reliably incredible (that is, literally incredible) Sue-Ann Levy. Aside from a whole lot of left-baiting meanness, it’s actually quite reasonable insofar as, sure, this is arguably not the most fair way for Ford to have been ousted.
In an editorial published yesterday, the Globe and Mail resorts to a sports analogy, but only as a way of pointing out that Ford seems to have a problem with rules—specifically, with understanding that they apply to him. Which, on the available evidence, seems true. Today’s Globe editorial, meanwhile, makes the case that city council should opt to appoint one of their own to the mayoralty, rather than holding a by-election to replace Ford, because a vote “would only extend the chaos that Mr. Ford has bequeathed the city through his complete inability to respect simple rules and his over-developed sense of entitlement.” Though it’s tempting, admittedly, to support spending the $7 million on an election just to spite Ford and his legendary parsimony.
One thing pretty much everyone seems to agree on is that there’s just one person who bears the majority of the blame for this state of affairs: his name is Rob Ford.
- The Star‘s Royson James: “…as always, an unrepentant Ford blames everyone but himself for his troubles.”
- The Star‘s editorial board: “With Ford, it’s always someone else’s fault. But his excuses never clanged more hollow.”
- The Globe‘s Margaret Wente: “The only place he enjoys himself is on the football field, coaching his team. He refuses to be the mayor of all the people – or even most of the people. If you’re not on his side, you’re the enemy.”
- The Globe‘s Marcus Gee: “Rob Ford says ‘left-wing politics’ are to blame for his ouster as mayor of Toronto. Nonsense. This wound was entirely self-inflicted.”
- The Sun‘s Sue-Ann Levy: “Look, Ford could have avoided this, that’s for darn sure.”
- The Post‘s Matt Gurney: “I’d have continued to offer support to him when it was warranted. But his performance—there’s no other word for it—in court when testifying on this matter was astonishingly bad.”
- The Grid‘s Edward Keenan: “Stubborn sense of entitlement. Ignorance. Lack of diligence. Wilful blindness. These words neatly sum up not just Rob Ford’s conduct in this matter, but his approach to the entire enterprise of government.”
But was his unceremonious ouster anti-democratic? Right now the Post and the Sun seem to be the only ones bending over backwards to make that case. Everyone else seems satisfied with the fact that Ford’s fall was, at least, apparently correct in the eyes of the law.
And of course someone has started a petition for Ford supporters to sign. Right now it has about 1,500 signatures. Good luck with that.
Meanwhile, someone else has created a Rob Ford countdown clock, in case you were wondering exactly how many seconds remain until he’s no longer mayor.
Also, some guys who are trying to start a “gravy train” restaurant have generously offered Ford a volunteer gig, even though by getting kicked out of office early, he’s essentially ruining their entire publicity hook. So, that’s very nice of them.
Maclean’s is comparing Ford to a “sad Santa.”
Meanwhile, Matt Elliott raises an excellent question to contemplate over the next few weeks: should Ford even want his job back?
Extra, Extra will return on Wednesday.