Rob Ford wants you to know he’s going to the gym.
Matt Lauer interviewed Ford on the Today show this morning to see how Toronto’s infamous mayor is doing. Ford appeared on the Today show just a few months ago, when Lauer traveled to Toronto to chat with Ford after most of his mayoral powers were stripped. (A crack-cocaine scandal will do that). There, Ford issued Lauer a challenge: “I invite you to come back, give me five or six months, and if you don’t see a difference, I’ll eat my words.”
Though it’s been less than six months, Lauer decided to check in on Ford again anyway. And Ford, predictably, tried very hard throughout the interview to avoid any discussion of his substance issues.
When Lauer asked Ford to name the biggest changes he’s made so far, Ford replied, “Going to the gym every day, down a few pounds, just going from door to door campaigning hard.” Lauer called him out, though, asking if he’s used crack-cocaine or other illegal drugs since the two sat down. And you know what Ford did? He laughed. Because that’s the thing to do when you’ve been accused of and eventually admit to doing crack-cocaine. You laugh!
“I don’t use illegal drugs,” Ford replied. Yeah, come on, Matt. Rob Ford doesn’t use illegal drugs. “I experimented with them probably a year ago, but I don’t use drugs,” Ford continued. “We’re in great shape, and right after this interview, I’m dying to hit the gym.” (This was gym reference #2, by the way.)
Lauer then asked if the mayor still drinks heavily on occasion. “No, not at all,” Ford said, this time without laughing. Drinking is serious; crack-cocaine is not. “Have I had a drink? Yes, I have. But not to the point of some of the episodes before.” He used this as a segue into the upcoming mayoral race, in which Ford faces 34 opponents; not exactly the best promotion strategy.
But Lauer wasn’t done. He brought up yet another embarrassing video from last month which shows an obviously intoxicated Ford speaking incoherently in what is supposed to be a Jamaican accent. “I’ve been brought up with a lot of Jamaican friends, and we went out, and yeah, that’s what I mean. I drank, and I enjoyed myself,” Ford said in response, before repeating his favorite line: “Maybe you’re perfect, but I’m not.” So, who’s ready to re-elect him come October 27?
Because it hasn’t been quite the five or six months that Ford said he’d need to clean up his act, Lauer admitted to “jumping the gun,” saying that he’ll talk to Ford again in a few months. In other words: Mark your calendars, people; this show is far from over.