It was destined to be awkward from the onset — the moment Rob Ford stepped to the podium to officially address the court decision that will see him thrown from office.
Thrown from office, that is, pending appeal. Because Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is a fighter and a survivor, as he has said before. Although, apparently, he's not much for learning.
In one of the greatest "What was the point of that?" moments of Ford's tenure, the embattled leader called together the media (the loathed media) and meekly vowed to continue fighting.
"I was elected two years ago by the people of this great city to do a job. We have accomplished a lot in the past two years. But that job is not finished yet," he told those gathered, and those watching live on television. But the force and conviction and bluster was absent. It was, I don't know, kinda sad.
It was like watching Chris Farley in Tommy Boy when he realized he wasn't going to save his father's factory. He had nothing left to try, no card left to play. Not even a little coat would get him out of this mess.
There was sadness in the bear of a man where once there was an innocence only arrested development can provide.
More on Ford:
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- Ford in full football mode despite sport-related political fall
- Deputy mayor 'never thought' Ford would be ousted
- Ford's ousting causes swift and jubilant reaction on Twitter
- Ford vows to fight removal ruling 'tooth and nail'
He … even almost apologized.
Remember in 2010, when then-embattled-mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone tried quit the race, but tearfully fled the room before finishing his prepared statement?
It was kind of like that, but Ford didn't flee, and the tears had been replaced by perspiration. And he didn't step aside.
Instead he hollowly repeated the same arguments that Justice Charles Hackland had rejected in court. He didn't REALLY believe it was a conflict of interest, he had nothing to gain. It was all about the children.
"This entire matter began because I love to help kids play football," Ford said. Of course that's where it may have began, but raising money for underprivileged kids is not what led to this sad moment.
This must be the last page of the Team Ford playbook. As the National Post's Matt Gurney points out, brother Doug was taking similar jabs the day before.
As much as Doug Ford and other allies of the mayor may like to pretend this is about charity, it really isn't. He's proving, yet again, that when Justice Hackland wrote that the mayor had a "stubborn sense of entitlement," he knew what he was talking about, and that it isn't confined to just one Ford.
Watching the pale, near-humble Ford vow to continue fighting, fighting until the people who voted him into office voted him out, was tough. But Ford has been down before, and with his appeal to be heard on December 5, maybe a humbled Ford will return to office.
After all, even Tommy Boy got his happy ending.