If anyone would have told you three months ago that the Liberals would now appear relatively more stable than the Conservatives, you would have rightfully scoffed at the mere suggestion. It's almost amazing on one level, reading more glowing stories about the impressive Ignatieff team taking shape, while at the same time a mood of doom and gloom hangs over the once-respected Conservative machine.
It's all about optics, and clearly the Liberals are starting to get the upper hand on the Conservatives. Harper does seem down, the Conservatives bravado evaporating and a real sense that the government isn't on steady ground. All this talk of the inner circle regrouping only feeds a sense of vulnerability and weakness.
On the other hand, I can't count how many times I've heard media reporters, even unlikely sources, commenting on the impressive team that Ignatieff is assembling. A real measure of respect, for a perceived formidable group, it's clear that part of this honeymoon is a result of the appearance of talent and competence. Liberals no all too well, that the media "senses" weakness, so if they are buying into the seasoned and capable team narrative, it will serve us well moving forward. That reverence is only helped, when compared with the government side, their "exodus" and regroup supports our relative strength. And, it's not just the media, in some respect, I think the Conservatives are spooked, looking at the strengthened opponent.
The important thing moving forward for Ignatieff, an almost "no news is good news" posture, wherein the Liberals simply convey a sense of purpose, a team hitting it's stride, professional and focused. The media's gaze has clearly turned to Harper, tired of beating up on Dion for two years, no longer given a pass, the hunter is the hunted. Ignatieff has to avoid self-inflicted wounds, stay above the fray and keep looking like a PM in waiting. Present a united party, with a common purpose, while Harper is under the microscope, people now looking for any further evidence to suggest failing fortunes. There's a new carcass on the plains, and the fickle are circling.
Of course, everything could change on a dime in an instant, so this is no time to be over-confident or complacent. Merely, a recognition of this moment in time, which clearly shows, the worm has turned.