If there is one more overused word as it relates to Trudeau it's "substance". It's as though people forget our current Prime Minister wasn't elected on FIVE THIN policy positions, mostly made up of gimmicky manipulations to curry favour. It's as though we believe people in Quebec moved to Layton because of some deep philosophical epiphany, rather than being the only "fresh" option presented to a tired and cynical electorate. It's as though we don't understand that individuals have talented teams behind them, capable of policy development, demographic appeals and organizational aptitude.
The other parties should be rightly afraid, and I don't believe I feel this way simply as an extension of mindless partisan want. Trudeau has a unique potential demographic appeal, one that basically assures Mulcair never becomes Prime Minister, at the very least Trudeau is a spoiler, at the best Prime Minister himself. Polls are encouraging, particularly with older demographics, people who vote consistently. As well, there is no disputing Trudeau has potential appeal amongst the disengaged "younger" voter, which could provide the double whammy of inspired volunteers, as well as sleeper voting demographic.
Trudeau is cool, hip, energetic, the above picture an absolutely perfect snapshot in some many ways. While the armchair types criticized this leadership process, they forget a certain practical truth: Trudeau packs them in. Where ever Justin travels, he brings a "rock star" vibe, nobody disputes it, it will not wane in the short term, it will provide a powerful momentum boost during a campaign.
Liberals have been burned bad prior, believing policy wonks can translate, resonate, reverberate, inspire and motivate. Liberals have already played the movie the pundits now crave, which comes with a certain irony given the past criticisms when provided with their apparent desire. Here's the rub, the media DOESN'T want substance, they want a story, they want intrigue, they want to be where "it's at", we needn't over analyze simplistic nature, despite protestations to the contrary. Trudeau sells, Trudeau appeals, Trudeau provides a tension, the fascination will not end. Add on a growing recognition that Trudeau actually does possess some chops, Liberals can certainly be optimistic about the future.
If these views sound presumptuous, then certainly the caveat that things change on a dime in politics, it's all probability rather than assured. That said, it is true we are dealing with a certain phenomenon here that shakes up the political metrics, obliterates recent assumptions and provides great possibilities moving forward. Liberals need to manage expectations, although I suspect the obsessive attention continues, so perhaps better to embrace and direct, rather than balk.
Despite all the cynicism in this world, people still crave positivity, we still want to believe in something. A person that can actually tap into this latent desire, pierce the dismissive posture, is a force to be reckoned with, make no mistake about it...