Rob Ford on Jimmy Kimmel Live (

The Ford Strategy: Making Lemonade

No one is questioning the health issues of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. He has evidently had medical issues over a long period. Even Jimmy Kimmel beseeched him to get some help.

But last week’s decision, broken down to political strategy in the context of Toronto’s Mayoralty election is intriguing. There is now some talk about Doug Ford’s stepping in to the race as a back-up plan; but maybe the back-up plan was set-up to forestall a possible defeat of Rob Ford.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If Toronto were a Canadian province it would be the 3rd largest population.
  • In a mayoralty campaign which officially began in January 2014. Rob Ford was a strong second, but not likely to win according to the latest polls.
  • The deadline for withdrawing or adding a name to the ballot was a day (or two) after the health incident which drove him to seek medical help.

So what does Rob Ford do? Or what does Mayor Rob and older brother (and ward councillor in family stronghold, their dad represented the same district years ago) do?

Doug Ford with Doctor at Press Conference

Well here is the Bob and Doug plan, and some comments on each decision:

  • Rob will withdraw from the race for Mayor.

Back drop: in this serious situation there were two press conferences with the doctors. Isn’t the usual reaction to keep tragic personal matters private and personal?

  • Big Brother Doug will withdraw from the his race for ward seat in Etobicoke (the heart of Ford Nation) and run for Mayor.

It is impressively simple to corral the nomination papers and the signatures to file papers for the nomination.

The can spend the full $1.4M on the campaign for the new candidate for mayor.

The Ford Nation across Toronto continues to have a focus for mobilization.

The Ford name continues as a central part of Toronto mayor’s race.

Big Brother Doug may lose, but that was probably the fate of the more personable Rob Ford.

  • Rob Ford will run for the ward seat in the family stronghold of Etobicoke.

Even though Rob Ford is not well enough to run for mayor, he is well enough to run for city council seat.

Even if Big Brother Doug loses the Mayor’s race, the family continues to be represented in City Council since Rob Ford will probably win the council seat.

Since there are no political parties in Toronto City Council, it is all about administration and personalities. The Fords have the latter in spades! They will have a platform for Rob Ford to be a gadfly and build his campaign for Mayor in 2018.

Is this lemonade? or was lemonade just Plan B? Whatever the strategy, let’s hope that Rob stays healthy.

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