Ford seeking help — and re-election?

He’s down — but don’t count him out, despite the baying for his resignation.

His Honour the Doofus is taking a leave of absence from his position of Toronto’s court jester, er, Mayor, and his campaign for re-election,.

He’s on his way to “seek help” for his drug and alcohol addictions.

Another surreptitious video taken by a drug dealer of Rob Ford smoking something from a metal pipe in the basement of the home of his sister, a confessed crack addict, has been made available and stills from the video were purchased for $10,000 by the Globe and Mail. Got that? I know, it’s not easy to keep all the sordid details straight.

But by now, three and a half years after Ford was elected, Canadians should be pretty good at it.

Publication of pictures of Ford smoking what the dealer says was crack may not have been the Mayor’s first choice as the path to re-election.

But for this most Teflon of politicians, it could turn out to be the best campaign strategy possible.

He’ll be back claiming rehabilitation and a fresh start, boasting about renewed vigour and resolve to derail the gray train.

A healthy (relatively speaking, of course) Rob Ford could be just what’s needed to pull ahead of the anti-Ford vote, likely to split between his leading opponents, Olivia Chow and John Tory.

As the Toronto Star pointed out earlier this week, before the revelation of the latest video, Ford’s “voter approval rating (is) forever stuck between 40 and 45 per cent, regardless of what shame he brings on himself and the city.”

While that may drop with the disgust about the latest scandal, it could rise to the same level, or even higher, if Ford is serious about rehabilitation and succeeds in derailing the cocaine train.

Meanwhile, he’s unlikely to resign, partly because of stubbornness and partly because he probably figures he can count on the sympathy of people who also struggle with their demons and will forgive him if he tries do better by taking time for rehab.

A slimmer (even temporarily) Rob Ford who has conquered his addictions (even temporarily) could be a formidable force in October.

Political opponents and anti-Ford pundits may be relishing the latest take-down of the Mayor but they may not appreciate the consequences, come election time.

A time-out for rehab could be just what his campaign needs.