it's still entirely possible that Stephane Dion and Gerard Kennedy will make nice on the convention floor this weekend long enough to propel one of them to the Liberals' top job. But it appears a whole lot less likely now that the latter has supplanted the former as the great hope of the party's Trudeauite wing.
But if Kennedy wants to be friends, he has a funny way of showing it.
By announcing his opposition to Stephen Harper's motion recognizing the Quebecois as "a nation within a united Canada," the former Ontario minister hasn't just isolated himself from most of the Liberal caucus - he's also aggressively made a move onto Dion's turf.
Frankly, I think what we have here is a bored reporter concocting some spice. I don't know how you conclude the "political courtship" is over, especially when you acknowledge that Kennedy spoke with Dion about his decision. According to the author, Kennedy should have agreed with the resolution because it afforded him his best opportunity to curry favor with Dion and his delegates. Surely Dion has no time for Kennedy now because he dared to offer his own view. Under this logic, count on Volpe and Dryden to walk hand in hand over to Kennedy after the first ballot.
I never put much stock in the secret bargain speculation revolving around Kennedy and Dion, because I think there are too many balls in the air to think of substantive tactics. However, if any chance of an alliance is now destroyed because of a difference of opinion, then no candidate could every support anyone.
The only constructive part of this piece, it offers further evidence that Kennedy's choice was one of principle, not political opportunism as the mindless critics have argued:
That lends some credence to the Kennedy campaign's claims that, contrary to popular belief, the candidate's suddenly strident opposition to the motion was not just a strategic ploy to finally get him some ink from the national media.
"I think if we'd been making this decision from a purely tactical point of view, the decision would've been, 'Don't do this Gerard - it's just too risky,' " a senior source within the Kennedy camp said Monday.
"Most of us were telling Gerard not to do it. From a principled perspective, I agree with what he did one hundred percent. But boy, from a tactical perspective, it's a risky move that's hard to see how it all plays out."