Did you hear Bob Rae's rousing speech to caucus today? Was there any doubt that is sounded very much like a guy ready to go for the permanent Liberal leadership job? A interim leader doesn't need to defend an ancient record, unless of course that record could be used against his future aspirations.
Let's go back in time, there were stipulations put in place for the interim leader because many rightfully foresaw unique advantages that job would afford, ultimately a unfair advantage in the race for a permanent Liberal leader. We can quibble over those stipulations when Rae took the job, but there is no doubt he accepted those provisions at the time, and in so doing those with concerns "stood down" so to speak.
I'm not surprised Bob Rae has been successful in his current role, matter of fact I outlined his assets when I argued why he really was the perfect choice for this interim position. However, the judgement of his job to date takes on a different tone when one looks at the longer picture, when one considers all the previous hesitations. The interim leader has massive advantages, they can use party donations, our donations that supports staff, tours, to build a network, to make their case, to influence, to build a formidable wall of support. As well, they can use the interim position itself as a pulpit, that essentially DWARFS all others. In reality, what we see now, Rae in great position, is a testament to the very advantages we all outlined when this issue first arose.
I really, really, really like Bob Rae. Truth be told, I might even be inclined to support him for a permanent role, even with the BAGGAGE I've mentioned time and again. However, that viewpoint is really irrelevant to the underlying moral imperative here, namely that if Bob Rae really does want this job- and that speech today is the clearest signal yet- he OWES it to the membership to come clean, give up the end game here and resign his position immediately, in the interest of full disclosure. Should Rae stay on, we can only conclude he doesn't have aspirations, because a man of his moral compass must surely see the conflict of interest here, it is PLAIN AS DAY to anyone with a rational perspective.
The time has come for Bob Rae to sign a legally binding document that precludes his run for permanent leader OR the time has come to dispense with the intrigue, the out clause language, and just make intentions known once and for all. Pretty simply, you're in, you're out, you're out, carry on.