Watching Dion spar with Harper today in Question Period, I thought Dion looked particularly impressive. Speaking with easy, compassion and conviction, Dion appears to be finally hitting his stride.
Partisanship aside, Dion had largely been an ineffective, uninspiring trainwreck most of the time in parliament. Even Liberal MP's often looked strained in their applause, conveying nothing in the way of genuine inspiration. Dion has his strengths, but none of them appeared to manifest themselves within this forum.
People can discount performance in parliament, but I believe it is critical for any realistic chance at winning an election. One of the main reasons, much of the media takes its cues, positive or negative, through the perceptions offered in QP. I don't think it accident that the majority of media soundbites selected Liberals, other than the leader, for their stories- Dion wasn't good copy. If Dion is ever to confront the leadership gap, he must give the impression that he is worthy and a viable alternative to Harper. The ability to be effective in parliament isn't an absolute necessity, but it does represent a relevant disadvantage.
Watching Dion today, I was struck by just how far he has come. Dion looked great, in total command. Maybe Dion did just need some time afterall.