Rob Ford Saga: 'Smarten up, Robbie'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media outside his office at City Hall and then admits too...

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media outside his office at City Hall and then admits too smoking crack cocaine on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

TORONTO -- Diane Ford had a few choice words for her bad boy son: "Smarten up, Robbie." After the police chief's explosive announcement that his officers had recovered the elusive crack video, an emergency Ford family meeting was convened at his mom's Etobicoke home the next day.

"You caused all this," Diane Ford told her youngest child, his mayoralty engulfed in a crisis making headlines around the world.

The family matriarch told CP24 that she issued a number of directives to Ford: He must get a driver, install a breathalyzer machine in his SUV to prove he doesn't drink and drive, speak to a counsellor and lose weight.

Which was a start -- but hardly enough. Rather than the intervention he so sorely required, the mayor wasn't headed for rehab. Instead, the Ford strategy was to use the family's trademark combative bluster to deflect the thunderous chorus for him to step aside.

On his CFRB radio show, the mayor offered a vague apology and then dared police to arrest him if he had done anything illegal. On John Oakley's AM640 show, he pledged to cut back on his boozing. "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict," he maintained. "I'm going to have a few drinks, but I'm not going to be running around City Hall with a half bottle of brandy in my hand."

Unbelievably, his approval rating actually went up 5%.


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