I’m not particularly surprised that Rob Ford is being accused of groping Sarah Thomson. He is not exactly the living embodiment of a modern, tolerant man.

Sadly, I’m also not surprised that Ford responded in the way he did: by attacking Thomson’s credibility and suggesting she’s crazy. Specifically, he said, “I’ve always said, I don’t know if she’s playing with a full deck from the first time I met her, and I told her that that night.” Things then got a lot weirder when Thomson mused on a radio show that she thought Ford was on cocaine when said alleged groping occurred. That’s when I decided to tune out of this story – except to make the observations below.

I have no idea whether Ford pawed Sarah Thomson or not – both of them, in an odd way, deserve each other. But what I do know is that a great many people will believe anything bad they hear about Rob Ford because it fits perfectly within the range of behaviour we expect from him. And that should inform how he responds to these types of accusations.

Is anyone giving Rob Ford decent communications advice? Is anyone telling him to stop giving just about everyone – outside of Ford Nation – the impression that he’s a boorish, unthinking man-child who can’t resist insulting those who don’t agree with him?

It’s quite possible that there is someone like that on his staff – but that Ford refuses to listen to the advice. Or perhaps his responses are highly strategic, designed as a call to action for his supporters? In either case, I despair.

Meanwhile, like a lot of other Torontonians, I await the emergence of a self-aware and tactful candidate for mayor.

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