Toronto mayor says he's embarrassed; what about Chicago?

Rob Ford says he loves his job and will stay on as mayor of Toronto despite admitting for the first time that he smoked crack. He earlier acknowledged he smoked crack "probably a year ago" when he was in a "drunken stupor." (Nov. 5)

When it comes to the antics of mayors, why does Toronto have all the fun and Chicago is left in the dust?

Not only is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford a confessed crack smoker, he's now on a newly released video saying he wants to tear out a man's throat and pop out his eyes.

In the video recorded on a cellphone, an inebriated Ford stands up, belly swinging, shouting that he wants to "kill" an unnamed man.

"'Cause I'm going to kill that (deleted) guy," Ford says on the video. "No holds barred, brother. He dies or I die. … I'll rip his (blanking) throat out! I'll poke his eyes out."

This has caused an outrage in Toronto, where Ford, a conservative, has spent months demonizing reporters and denying that there ever was a video showing him hitting the pipe. He finally admitted it a few days ago.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago," Ford said.

Once he admitted he hit the pipe and drank too much, an amazing thing happened. Ford's popularity increased.

"It's extremely embarrassing," Ford sheepishly confessed Thursday after the kill-the-guy video came out. "The whole world is going to see it."

Yes, it might be extremely embarrassing for you, Mayor Ford. But what's truly embarrassing is that now the American news media are scouring the nation's cities wondering how their mayors score on the shame-o-meter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune put out a story the other day asking: "More embarrassing mayor: Rob Ford or Bob Filner?"

Filner, you may remember, was accused by a series of women of being a sexual harasser. There were theories that Filner may have been a sociopath because he refused to show shame. But finally, he left.

Any day now, Detroit will ask the same thing, since former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was recently sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on corruption charges in that now-bankrupt city.

Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry hit the crack pipe, too, and famously shouted about a female witness, "(Rhymes with witch) set me up!" Naturally, he was re-elected.

But who cares about San Diego and Detroit and Washington?

These are minor cities when it comes to mayors. To Chicago, the land of real mayors, this Ford business is truly embarrassing.

Our Chicago mayors, to my knowledge, have never smoked crack on video, nor been caught in a drunken rage saying they wanted to rip someone's throat out and poke out their eyes.

I'm not saying it never happened — I'm just saying there is no video.

Instead, our mayors have another hobby besides crack and drinking and talking about poking people's eyes out.

Our mayors occupy themselves by running the city into the ground, loading billions of dollars of debt on future taxpayers, putting their friends and relatives at the public trough.

Some Chicago mayors have long associations with unsavory characters of organized crime, what we call the Outfit.