Rob Ford this morning filed to run for re-election this year, fulfilling his post-crack confession promise to do so and handing reporters a belated Christmas gift in the process, via the Toronto Star:
Rob Ford registered Thursday for the 2014 mayoral election — and made it clear that he will try to run on his fiscal record while ignoring concerns about his character. As he promised, Ford was the first major candidate to sign up, on the first day of the campaign period. Ford’s slogans in 2010 were “respect for taxpayers” and later “stop the gravy train.” He said Thursday that his slogan this time is “Ford more years.”
His comments reflected the unrepentant message of that play on words. Asked how people can ever trust him again, after a year in which he was revealed to have lied about crack cocaine use, he said: “My track record speaks for itself. If you want to get personal, that’s fine. I’m sticking to my record, and talk is cheap. You’re going to see action like you’ve never seen before."
Unintentionally proving his point about words and action, Ford then went on to declare himself the "best mayor" Toronto has ever had before rattling off a list of his alleged accomplishments, some of which in the words of the Star "were exaggerations or simply untrue." The most obvious errors of fact were his dubious claims that he saved the city "a billion dollars" (an overstatement by at least hundreds of millions of dollars by the paper's count) and that he had the best attendance record of anyone on Toronto's city council (he is, unsurprisingly, below average in that respect).
Then again, Ford has already proved more than once that he has a different definition of truth than the rest of us. Back in November when he finally admitted to smoking crack he steadfastly denied he lied to the media during his previous denials, claiming those were in response to questions about whether he smokes (present-tense) crack. "I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correction questions," he told reporters, referring to the questions he had been cherry-picking from the Canadian press corps for the previous six months. "No, I'm not an addict. And, no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past. All I can do is apologize."
Voters will head to the polls on October 27 to decide whether or not to hand Ford another four years as mayor. His soon-to-be opponents are expected to stay on the sideline for the near future and not file immediately, apparently more than happy to let Ford to have the spotlight to himself for at least a few more weeks.
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