"I've never put my personality on the table, and I'm now realizing that a leader has to do that because if people don't know who I am and what I'll do for them, they won't be interested the Liberals.''
I've always focused on the stakes … but I've never put myself on the line and I understand now that a leader must do that.… A leader has to put himself out there and I didn't do it," he told Radio-Canada host Céline Galipeau during a candid interview in French.
The money quote:
"I think a lot of people in Quebec think I am not pro-Quebec, it's as simple as that,'' he said.
For Dion, the solution lies partly in overcoming the perception that he is overly bookish man with few concrete ideas.
"We have to focus the debate on Stephane Dion, who I am and what I can do,'' he said.
"The caricature has taken over the person.''
The last quote tells us Dion appreciates the challenge. Dion, the Mr. Clarity “rat”, vilified in editorial cartoons, the Chretien stooge, the enemy of Quebec’s aspirations, all that conventional wisdom has to be overcome. Talk is cheap, but I’m impressed that Dion doesn’t sugarcoat the landscape and understands that he alone must change his image, if the Liberals have any hope in Quebec.
Dion’s “very worrying” reference to the two francophone ridings is sober and accurate. Identifying the problem, and not spinning like Dion did after the vote on Monday, is a far better strategy. People appreciate someone who can admit his flaws, call a spade a spade and is willing to show a vulnerability. As a matter of fact, this frank talk is a nice contrast to the Harper approach. A good sign indeed.