Out with the old and in with the old.
It may be a new year, but 2013, too, is shaping up to be all about Rob Ford all the time again as he prepares to face the music, and a panel of judges, on Monday (January 7) in the appeal of his conflict of interest conviction.
For a guy who wanted to blow off Tuesday's New Year's Day Levee, it takes a lot of nerve to be telling council he should be reappointed mayor if the conflict conviction sticks and he gets the unceremonious boot.
There are few arguments for reappointing Ford, and many against.
Why save Rob from Rob again, when all this political instability is his own doing? In Rob's world there's no price to be paid for breaking the rules.
Ford's argument that he deserves to be given his seat back smells of entitlement.
No doubt the mandate he won in 2010 - yes, that again - will be rattled like a sabre to persuade undecided councillors, as if that vote came with no strings attached. Councillors who are politically vulnerable will be thinking about what a vote against reappointing Ford might mean for their own political future in 2014. Especially if the mayor decides to make cutting council in half a key plank in his platform.
But if the vibe emanating from the mayor's office could be described in one word, it's anxious.
Does he even have the votes? Who's to say some councillors won't decide to put their names forward to be appointed mayor? The plot is thickening.
That vast left-wing conspiracy he and his supporters blame for his downfall has just gotten bigger. It now supposedly involves Ford's own lawyer. There's a Twitter account to prove it.
That call of the mayor's out of the blue to Newstalk 1010 last week to make his "appoint me" request (or was that demand?) wasn't the surprise some City Hall observers made it out to be.
On that front, the wheels have been turning, with Fordists dispatched to put out the word that the big guy has learned his lesson.
Ford had been saying he'd be the first on the ballot to run in a by-election to regain his seat if he had to. What's changed?
Robo's sure acting like someone who's preparing for the worst, getting ready to check out.
Before he tried to bail on the Levee, there was another unannounced trip, this time a 10-day escape, alone, reportedly to Florida.
Maybe he needs time to think?
According to one story making the rounds, Ford's put his lawyer on a short leash, knowing the odds of his winning an appeal are stacked against him. Perhaps he's keeping his powder dry for a by-election after all. Rob's got friends in high places who'd be more than willing to pick up the tab.
To what extent discussions, formal or not, have been going on among councillors behind the scenes on the question of whether Ford should be reappointed is unclear. There's still time to let this one simmer. It could be early March before council has to make a decision.
The eventuality that hasn't been given too much thought is that Ford wins his appeal, however unlikely that seems. The Municipal Conflict Of Interest Act under which he was found guilty for soliciting funds from lobbyists for his football charity was deliberately written to give no quarter. In fact, provincial lawmakers wanted to make conflict provisions even stricter, removing the "error in judgment" and "inadvertence" escape clauses on which Ford is now partly basing his appeal.
Should Ford end up winning reappointment, it would forever enshrine his rebel image - I fought the law and I won - and embolden him until megalomania, or his penchant for risky public behaviour, finally takes him down. But not even that might do it.