With his thunderous lead in the polls, there’s almost nothing that can stop Rob Ford from getting what he wants come election day. We say almost nothing because it looks like the campaign itself has identified two major stumbling blocks: the likely-to-be-enraged opposition on council, and the small matter of Ford himself. According to the Toronto Star, Ford’s people are hoping to address the first problem by establishing connections with like-minded candidates in Toronto’s various wards—or as the Star calls it, the “party of Ford.”
When asked if they were organizing a slate, campaign manager Doug Ford avoided a direct answer.
“You’ll hear that over the next week or so … but I can assure you of one thing,” he said. “There’s going to be councillors who support Rob Ford.”
Ryerson University politics professor Neil Thomlinson said it looks as though the campaign team is trying to create a Rob Ford party.
“And it’s obvious why he’s doing it. He knows no one on the current council would work with him,” said Thomlinson.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Ford campaign has sent out a memo to all staff to be on their best behaviour, and not give ammunition to those “people who generally rely on the gravy train at city hall to make their living.” Yes, the campaign even uses the words “gravy train” in supposed-to-be-private correspondence.
The combination of these two stories makes us think that maybe, just maybe, Ford’s campaign isn’t the carnival of buffoonery that his critics so dearly hope it is. (And hey, we haven’t been above taking a crack at the campaign.) Say what you will about building a party on council, but with this many open seats, Ford is never going to have a better chance to swing the council in his favour. Unlike his opponents, who have struggled to distinguish themselves, the Ford campaign is starting to look remarkably competent. Of course, the front-runner always looks good until they don’t—and you can bet that Ford’s rivals are praying for some kind of gaffe-induced implosion right about now.