Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Finding His Voice

People can't seem to understand why the Liberals would even entertain an election right now. I agree on the odds, nobody is deluding themselves, but I also believe prospects aren't likely to improve over time. While negativism is rooted in certain electoral facts, there are reasons for optimism for team Liberal.

Okay, it's just a speech, so not to overstate, but I would define Ignatieff yesterday as a culmination of sorts, one that bodes well for a looming campaign. The Liberals have spent the time crafting a platform, and their leader has been quietly honing his craft across this country, in small rooms, taking ALL comers, relating to the "street". Rarely mentioned, how SEEMLESSLY Ignatieff has pulled off all these town halls, wading into crowds, all the things that can provide embarrassing moments, gaffes, simply hasn't. Compare this person to the Ignatieff of 2006 and you see the transformation from thoughtful professor to retail politician.

People can quibble with the policies, but the Liberals have now armed Ignatieff with a narrative, a few simple concepts that can spin off into every crevice. The leg work has brought us to this moment, Ignatieff has finally found his voice. We political geeks have seen this evolution, but now we have reached a stage where I think this guy, right now, can actually resonate. With expectations so low, my political instinct almost guarantees we will see a "second look" during a campaign. He's polished, he can deliver a line with authenticity, he can actually INSPIRE, he's attractive. Contrasted with superficial impressions to date, it's a recipe for potential traction.

If the guy who delivered that speech yesterday can make his way into Canadian homes, the Liberals have a fighting chance to catch fire in a campaign. It was the kind of moment, however fleeting, which made you consider that anything is possible...

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Kirk said...

And yet the media called his speech yesterday his "Howard Dean moment".

Actually the reduced filter that the media can apply in an election will be Ignatieff's biggest helper.

The media will have to report on him and they'll have a much harder time pushing their selective view of Ignatieff when day after day Canadians will be seeing Ignatieff for themselves.

That doesn't mean they won't be trying though. The media has taken their view of Ignatieff from the Conservatives. Their noses are far up Harper's butt and few will be able to break from the Ottawa pack and just report without injecting Conservative Party talking points into every story on the Liberals.

Yeah, that was a rant but I think after hearing the "Howard Dean moment" line repeated by CTV and by the G&M the media deserve it.

Ignatieff shocked me by how he broke so far from how the Conservatives and the media portray him with his speech yesterday. And the media's response was to attack him for contradicting their narrative.

Steve V said...

Low expectations are Ignatieff's greatest ally at this stage...

WhigWag said...

we should counter Jane "Giggles" Taber's slur by noting that she's had more than her share of 'Howard the Duck' moments: i.e., absurd, lazy, embarrassingly bad, jump the shark, depths of low journalism columns

Tof KW said...

Well what can I say, that's classic Taber. Why she's still employed as a political columnist I have no idea. She's more suited to be a gossip columnist at a second-rate tabloid.

Shiner said...

I can't wait to see this guy in a debate with Stevie boy... that is if Steve doesn't decide this is the year to simply skip it.