Monday, August 09, 2010

"He Seems To Connect Very Well With Common Folk.”

At the beginning of the Ignatieff tour, I dubbed it the "Last Chance Express", and in reality I don't think that characterization hyperbole. At some point, one either gets some traction or the negative narratives gel, and you are left with your opponent self destructing as the only realistic hope. I believe Ignatieff was at a crossroads heading into this summer, and while I didn't expect a radical turnaround, some projection of a credible alternative was desperately needed.

I've held off making any definitive judgements on this tour to date, because you need time to see if any themes have really developed. Hebert's column today confirms many of my gut instincts, and I think she's bang on.

I've sensed a different tone with the media, in regards to Ignatieff. The piling on mentality that dogged Ignatieff for most of this year seems to have waned. Part circumstance, part projecting different narratives, Ignatieff seems to be generating a certain amount of respect. The improving perception is warranted, because really this Liberal Express, save for the first day hiccups, has gone very, very smoothly, both logistically and professionally. Ignatieff has waded into crowds with ease, a far cry from the gaffe prone rookie that ran for the leadership in 2006. Ignatieff looks comfortable, his new summer garb now routine and ordinary.

Ignatieff hasn't shed all the baggage, obviously, and really I never expected him to. However, the notion of the out of touch elitist has taken a serious hit. I've scanned the local news on a daily basis, and for the most part, puff pieces that paint Ignatieff in a "on balance" positive light. This under the radar coverage, coupled with a certain re-think on the national media front congeals to a success by any definition.

The polls really haven't moved, there is no Iggymania sweeping the land, but when you consider realistic goals for this summer, it's hard to see failure. The team looks professional, the leader looks engaged and at ease, making it all the more realistic for those covering, and those voting, to see the Liberals as a viable alternative to this government. The "Last Chance Express" has become the "Greens Shoots Express" in my view, horribly overused wording aside :)


Tof KW said...

CTV has even seemed to turned on the Harper government from what I've seen on the 11PM national news, and yes given Iggy's bus tour some good coverage by contrast. All this is quite ephemeral of course, the media can turn on you in an instant. But still nice to put the guys actually governing under the microscope for a change.

BTW, I've always felt Ignatieff would run a good campaign once the time came. After all his time in academia, he's no stranger to public speaking; and watch for him to kick butt in the leadership debates. The problem is discipline within the party around him, no more riding nomination problems like Outremont again please.

Steve V said...

You're right, and the key is for the Liberals to keep the spotlight off themselves, no more "senior Liberals", no more self inflicted wounds. Look like a government in waiting, professional and focused.

R. G. Harvie said...


Hebert's article merited a whole blog of thought.

I read it twice to be sure I didn't miss anything.

It's basically this:

Ignatieff hasn't said anything stupid in a couple of weeks (other than telling Calgarians to buy their boots in Quebec, not Alberta) and because the press hasn't hammered his elitist, disconnected ramblings.. and haven't told us, yet again, about how Ignatieff has NO PLAN.. this is all good news.

I guess it's good news, like "the cancer hasn't spread" is good news.

Steve V said...

"Ignatieff hasn't said anything stupid in a couple of weeks"

Well, that's apparently a couple of weeks longer than you.


RuralSandi said...

I don't know if you've noticed, but Ignatieff is using Holland, Brison, etc. for press conferences - the younger MP's. Good practise for them and good display, because they sure as hell are more intelligent than the Harper gang of PM approved rhetoric.

Dame said...

As Tof KW said.... BTW, I've always felt Ignatieff would run a good campaign once the time came.

yes I am very pleased and not "surprised' at all what is happening around Iggy and his lighthearted good toned summer tour.
I guess he could say now "Just watch me "....

I am surprised Herbert does admit this... she is not easy to change her usual acidy and negative tone.

Steve V said...

I thought he would run a good campaign, but it was also pretty risky to think Ignatieff could turn it around in a mere weeks- possible, not probable. At least this way, he has a baseline.

liberazzi said...

I am not surprised by his performance, because every speech of his that I have ever gone to has been excellent and he comes off as very likable when you meet him. Also, he knows his facts, whereby when he is in an unscripted situation he always give an intelligent thoughtful answer. There may not be Iggy mania, but the polls are finally trending in the right direction and the narrative has changed. Moreover, Harper is finally getting hammered in the press, even from unlikely sources. Harper has given Iggy a free ride this summer, so i'm sure they are sharpening the knives. Now...the flaw in Iggy's game is not being out in public is his decision making process and tighter control of the idiots such as Coderre, which is where his credibility starts to be affected.

CathiefromCanada said...

The fact that he is not afraid to plunge into crowds and meet people, as well as speak to the media, is going to stand him in good stead --especially when the press compare him to "four-question Harper".
When the tour started, we saw some Conservative rat-fucking (the U of T story) but if they're floated other stories of this type, the media haven't been giving them any traction.
(By the way, I frequently want to comment on your posts, but I often cannot get past the "you must have a Google Account" requirement. Is there any way you can loosen this up a bit? I don't run into as much trouble on other sites.)