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...