Robbie, Can You Hear Me?

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“Mayor Ford, I have an award for you!” I shouted as Rob Ford stood in
his glass-walled office at Toronto City Hall Friday morning. “Would
you like to come get your Golden Duke?”

My first attempt to present Ford with TPM’s Golden Duke award for the
best scandal of 2013 had come a few minutes earlier as he disembarked an
elevator and entered his office ahead of a council meeting. A team of
burly bodyguards and lines of velvet ropes kept a crowd of reporters
who shouted questions away from the mayor.

“Mayor Ford, I have an award for you,” I had called out as he and his
entourage walked past, adding, “It’s for your scandal.”

There was no response from the mayor. Clearly he had not heard me or
seen the beautiful, solid gold paint Golden Duke trophy. I decided to
wait for him to depart his office and head to the meeting to try
again.

Here’s the video of the first attempt:

After more than half an hour, Mayor Ford emerged from his inner sanctum.
His security team had him wait in the glass-walled anteroom. Sensing
our time together would be short, I shouted out to him.

“Mayor Ford look at this! It’s priceless art for you!” I said. “Hi
Mayor Ford! I came a long way to give you this award!”

As Mayor Ford walked back onto the elevator, I waved the Duke at him.
A uniformed member of his security team put a stop to this by wrapping
my extended hand in some type of karate arm lock.

Here’s the second attempt:

Once the mayor was gone, his fauxhawked press secretary Amin Massoudi
came up to me and informed me the mayor doesn’t accept “deliveries” at
his office. Massoudi told me to leave the Golden Duke trophy in the
City Hall mailroom. He was unwilling to accept it on the mayor’s
behalf.

After hundreds of miles of travel and a day spent desperately
searching for the mayor at all of his favorite haunts, I am loath to
leave the precious Golden Duke award with anyone other than its
rightful owner. For now, I have returned to TPM’s temporary Toronto
bureau in a hotel across from City Hall to file this report and plan
the next move.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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