Ford wins Most Awkward Moment of the Mayoral Race (so far)
There’s no need to go over, once more, Rob Ford‘s 2006 comments about AIDS funding—remarks he now regrets—but there is a need to call attention to a scene described in yesterday’s Toronto Star in which the mayoral candidate personally apologizes to a gay man and his husband. The entire thing comes off as both touchingly sincere and totally awkward-tacular. In an epic understatement, the Star‘s David Rider calls the encounter a “slightly bizarre scene”:
[Dieter] Doneit-Henderson says senior governments are guilty of downloading and proclaims that he’s ready to volunteer for Team Ford. He says Smitherman, whom he says he knew in the party scene from 1999 to 2003, is “playing the gay card.” But he isn’t finished with Ford. “Do I look to you like somebody with HIV?” he asks.
“No, you don’t,” Ford replies, looking at the slim, healthy-looking man and his healthy-looking Scottish husband of four years, Colville Doneit-Henderson, 33, who is also HIV-positive.
Doug Ford jumps in to assure them the Fords, who run a multimillion-dollar label and tag making business with offices in the U.S., do not discriminate against gays or anybody else. “I’ve had my gay friends come and visit me in Chicago. Gay men have slept in my bed,” Doug says.
Dieter jumps in: “With you in it?” Doug replies with a laugh: “Now you are trying to get me in trouble.”
Good on Ford for making the apology in person, but it’s pretty clear in the telling that Rider worked hard to put that little meeting together. Whether it benefited the campaign or the newspaper, it’s a masterpiece of obligatory smiles, nervous handshakes and forced laughter. And that is why Rob Ford wins the award for Most Awkward Moment of the Race.