Attitude is everything, what you convey to the public is half the battle. With that in mind, one of the main reasons that I'm genuinely giddy at the prospects of Ignatieff at the helm, is his complete and utter lack of intimidation. Ignatieff brings a different sense of confidence to the Liberals, and that is where leadership is key, it sets a tone that trickles down to the rank and file, and from that, to the broader public. Michael Ignatieff has NO fear of Stephen Harper, as a matter of fact he is prone to subtle jabs, which reveal his authentic belief that he can truly "take him down". Another example of this attitude today, in response to a typical question on CTV today:
Taber: "One of the criticisms, you're a bit too professitorial, you're a bit too aloof, you lack the common touch. What do you say to that?"
Ignatieff: "Well, just show me going door to door across the country. I'll take my chances against that great popular man of the people Stephen Harper, any day of the week."
Said with a sly smile, completely unnerved and telling, a terrific response to a silly question. What I find exciting, Ignatieff seems to understand his adversary. Concerns about his persona aside, Ignatieff rightly points out, that Stephen Harper isn't exactly a compelling figure, that Canadians feel some deep affinity for, he's not gifted, he's not someone to fear. That's the general sense I get from Ignatieff, it's not a lack of respect, it's just a self confidence that appreciates much of the ordinary in his opponent. That confidence is infectious, and it's a crucial primary element that is key to any eventual success.