Rob Ford can make one heck of an entrance.
Toronto’s embattled mayor entered the room at his re-election campaign kickoff party on Thursday with bag-pipers in front and ardent supporters shouting “Ford more years!” by his side – drowning out the last verses of “Eye of the Tiger” that played before his arrival.
Organizers rented a convention hall located on the outskirts of the city near the airport, luring supporters with free t-shirts and "Ford Nation" flags for the first 1,000 people, according to the Toronto Sun. Apparently, they had a difficult time filling it up to capacity.
Ford has been a fixture in national and international media since he admitted to smoking crack cocaine in November. It’s a series of personal problems that the mayor used to humanize himself with his supporters.
“There's been some rocky moments over the past year. I have experienced how none of us can go through life without making mistakes,” Ford said to a crowd of supporters.
“The people of Toronto know that I am just like them.”
Here’s a look at the people behind Ford Nation:
Also on HuffPost:
Toronto's controversial mayor has said sorry an awful lot over the last year. Here are just a few of his more memorable apologies. With files from The Canadian Press
Shortly after the crack video scandal broke, Ford says sorry for calling journalists a "bunch of maggots'' during his radio show. "I'm sure you understand this has been a very stressful week for myself and my family, but that doesn't justify using the terminology I did in describing the media,'' Ford said. "I sincerely apologize to each and every one of you."
Ford apologizes on his now-cancelled weekly radio show on Newstalk1010 for making mistakes including appearing in public while "hammered'' and texting while driving.
Ford admits he had indeed smoked crack cocaine, likely in one of his drunken stupors. "I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do,'' he said. "To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down. And I can't do anything else but apologize, and apologize.''
Ford appears ashamed while delivering a statement in response to a video that surfaced of a rambling, enraged Ford in a profanity-laced tirade in which he threatens to kill someone. "Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated,'' he said. "I've made mistakes. I don't know what to say.''
The mayor apologizes for crude remarks he made earlier that day in which he denied offering a former female staffer oral sex, saying he is happily married and had "more than enough to eat at home." "I want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning," he said.
Ford says sorry for running into Coun. Pam McConnell and knocking her over during a council meeting to strip the mayor of most of his powers. "It was a complete accident," Ford said. "I do sincerely apologize to you, Coun. McConnell."
Reluctantly apologizes for suggesting members of council were "corrupt." He initially said he withdrew his comments, but speaker Frances Nunziata said he needed to apologize. "How about, 'I am so sorry,'" Ford said sarcastically. "Is that as good as I apologize? Or, 'So sorry?' Which one do you want, Madam Speaker? Like, 'Super, super, super, super, super, super, super sorry? So sorry?'"
Apologizes to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, who served him with a libel notice saying the mayor suggested in a televised interview that the reporter was a pedophile. Dale says the mayor's apology didn't even come close to what he sought. "I do not believe Mr. Dale is a pedophile nor did I intend to suggest that in my comments," Ford said in a statement read during a council meeting. "I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence."
Apologizes for a second time and retracts the comments he made about the Toronto Star reporter during an interview with Conrad Black. "I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said," Ford said in a statement. "Finally there was absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Mr. Dale taking pictures of children, or for any insinuations I made. I should not have said what I did and I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said."
Ford admits he lied about his drug use in the past because he was "embarrassed." Ford had previously said he had been truthful in the midst of the crack cocaine scandal, and that reporters had simply not asked the "correct questions/" "Did I experiment with drugs? Yes I have. Why did I lie? I think everybody in the world has lied, because I was embarrassed," Ford said on his new YouTube show, "Ford Nation." "I didn't want to tell the truth. That's the only answer I can give. That's as straightforward as I can be."
We saw that, Rob. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/let-wrecking-ball-show-you-the-true-beauty-of-rob-ford" target="_blank">From Buzzfeed</a>
Ford blows us a kiss. <a href="http://twitchy.com/2013/11/08/the-gif-that-keeps-on-gifing-15-hilarious-must-see-rob-ford-moments/" target="_blank">From Twitchy</a>
We still can't believe he won, either. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/let-wrecking-ball-show-you-the-true-beauty-of-rob-ford" target="_blank">From Buzzfeed</a>
<a href="http://o.canada.com/news/rob-ford-toronto-summer-of-ford/" target="_blank">Best summer ever</a>. <a href="http://i.imgur.com/AiflEHJ.gif" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
He's got the moves like Jagger.. He's got the moves like Jagger. <a href="http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/November-2012/In-tribute-of-GIF-being-the-word-of-the-year-heres-our-favourite-Toronto-GIFs/" target="_blank">From PostCity</a>
Invisible defenders take down the mayor with an invisible tackle.
<a href="http://i.imgur.com/JrKal.gif" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
Did we mention this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/12/12/rob-ford-ballet-nutcracker-toronto_n_1143708.html" target="_blank">man once performed in a ballet</a>? From <a href="http://robfordfalls.tumblr.com/">Rob Ford Falls Tumblr</a>
That's one way to deal with reporters. <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
Muhahahahaha <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
Muhahahahahahahahahahaha <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/22minutes/videos/clips---season-20/robbie-boo-boo.html" target="_blank">"22 Minutes" strikes again</a>. From <a href="http://thishourhas22minutes.tumblr.com/post/34114355293/22-minutes-discovers-mayor-rob-fords-new-honey">This Hour Has 22 Minutes</a>
Who needs words when you can just <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/02/rob-ford-vomit-noise-video_n_3001086.html" target="_blank">pretend to vomit</a>? <a href="http://imgur.com/gwV7q2h" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
Rob Ford proves you can run <em>from</em> the media, you can run <em>into</em> the media, and sometimes, you can do both at the same time. <a href="http://imgur.com/r/funny/nATPNJb" target="_blank">GIF from Imgur</a>
Bonus image. Want. <a href="http://imgur.com/xtxz2" target="_blank">Thank you Imgur</a>
Toronto Rob Ford, right, gestures to Councillor Paul Ainslee in the council chamber as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Blasting what he called a "coup d'etat," Ford said voters should be able to pass judgment on him, not his fellow councillors.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (centre) dances with participants ahead of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Saturday July 30, 2011.
Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford, left, celebrates after defeating wrestler Hulk Hogan in an arm-wrestling match to promote Fan Expo in Toronto on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 .
Twenty-two month-old Micah MacMilan reacts as he is picked up by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford while Ford was signing bobblehead dolls in his likeness at City Hall in Toronto on Tuesday November 12, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds up a replica Grey Cup as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs with fans as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Ford showed up at Sunday's Canadian Football League playoff game, despite a request by the league's commissioner that he stay away.
Canadian recording artist Drake, left, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laugh at a news conference announcing that Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game, in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford displays a milk moustache as he takes part in voting with city council members in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches from the sidelines near the Argos bench during a CFL football game between the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday, August 18, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for photographs inside a giant shark mouth while attending the grand opening of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. After two years of construction, delays and (Canadian) $130 million in costs, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada opened to the public Wednesday.
City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for a photo opportunity with other dignitaries in a shark's jaws at the opening of Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is hoisted into the air by his Don Bosco Eagles team after winning the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday Nov. 15, 2012. A civil trial hearing in which the mayor is accused of libel against a restaurant owner went on without him.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (center) smiles as he officially opens the refurbished Sunnydale rink with Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Ron Wilson (right) and other dignitaries who were on hand as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs who practiced on the outdoor rink in Toronto on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford grabs the Grey Cup by the handles during a parade celebrating the Toronto Argonauts victory in the Grey Cup final in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012 .
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/31/rob-ford-butter-sculpture-ex-cne_n_1846616.html" target="_hplink">Toronto Mayor Rob Ford comes face to face with a butter sculpture of himself at the Canadian National Exhibition</a>.
As part of an exhibition at the CNE, Toronto-based artist Olenka Kleban has made a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/24/butter-rob-ford-sculpture_n_1828527.html" target="_hplink">butter sculpture of Toronto's mayor</a>.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hoists the Grey Cup on stage with Toronto Argonauts players while celebrating the team's Grey Cup victory in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, Nov.27, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands at the door to his office as he waits for an elevator in Toronto on Thursday November 14, 2013.
Mayor Rob Ford speaks at city council in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.
Nov. 13 2013. Toronto mayor Rob Ford during the afternoon session as councillors continued to debate a motion asking mayor Rob Ford to apologize to Torontonians for misleading therm about his use of crack cocaine.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to his Don Bosco Eagles team during the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a bobblehead doll depicting him at Toronto City Hall. An electoral map of the 2010 mayoral election shows that Ford's voter base resides mainly in a more conservative constituency than the downtown electorate.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and city councillor Michelle Berardinetti (right) smile on stage during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)