I’ve never quite understood the vehement antipathy directed towards Bob Rae. Witness for example, this nasty hatchet job from a rabid Harper zealot that summarizes a bunch of grubby personal attacks – compiled, ironically, by an embittered far left activist that the author of the post wouldn’t otherwise give the slightest bit of credence to.
Hey, I could be naïve, but Bob Rae always struck me as a fairly decent, stand-up kind of guy… so I just don’t understand all the hateful vitriol and libelous smears directed towards him.
Rae certainly has a lot of commendable attributes that would serve the party well, both as an effective public face on parliament hill, and more important, behind the scenes helping to rebuild its infrastructure. So what’s not to like?
And if it’s decided that Marc Garneau is to be the interim leader, well that also would be quite fine as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s great that the Liberals have two very capable individuals willing to steer the ship and help get things sorted out for a relaunch at some later date.
Does anyone else find it more than a little embarrassing and unseemly that our current prime minister frequently uses his media soapbox at international summits such as the G8 as an opportunity to take cheap (and erroneous) pot-shots at his political opponents and economic policy critics at home?
I thought Bob Rae summed up the essence of the problem quite well:
”I think all Canadians have to recognize that we have the smallest man on the world stage that it’s possible to imagine, and that’s Stephen Harper. He never misses an opportunity to stoop. Not to conquer, just to throw mud.”
The Americans used to have an unwritten policy that “partisanship ends at the water’s edge” — a quaint notion perhaps, but alas, being a total douchebag, one that Stephen Harper has never seemed able to grasp.
Here’s the final part of the interview between TRNN’s Paul Jay and Bob Rae. In this segment Jay focuses on Ignatieff’s initial support for the Iraq War (referencing his NYT editorial supporting the notion of “Empire Lite” — a “global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights and democracy”)
Interesting that Jay “outs” himself as being “not a fan of the Conservative Party” (hardly a secret) but this is one criticism of the Real News that I have which is their tendency to present an unrelentingly slanted viewpoint from the left side of the political spectrum.
Another bit of a tease, as it turns out; in which, despite repeated attempts by his dogged interlocutor, Bob refuses to get drawn into a recriminatory discussion about the failure of the coalition to mount an effective opposition to the Conservative government.
Bob talks to Paul Jay of The Real News Network about the events following the last federal election that led to Michael Ignatieff becoming interim leader of the Liberal Party. There’s nothing new here, but it sets the stage for the second part of the interview (not as yet posted) that promises to be somewhat more interesting given it will cover policy differences between Rae and Ignatieff.
“I think what we saw as a very dramatic death bed conversion by Mr. Harper… and Mr. Harper’s problem is that he’s still alive, so he’s got to live with that.”
“Is it perfect? No, it’s not perfect. Do we like the Conservative government? No. I didn’t vote for it, but the fact it it’s there. They have a 140 odd members; some of them odder than others, but there you are… that’s the government.”
“You know, I’ve been in politics for thirty years… I’ve seen good morale, bad morale, I know what it’s like.”
Update: Hey, let’s take a peek at what’s going on behind the curtain…
As predicted… with Bob’s graceful exit, the leadership race is over.
CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife confirmed Tuesday that Rae will not challenge frontrunner Michael Ignatieff — virtually ensuring that Ignatieff will become Liberal leader.
“I put my support behind Michael Ignatieff,” Rae told the small group of close supporters, according to notes obtained by Fife.
“I know many will be disappointed but our interests must be put aside.”
Rae also said his “goal has been and will be democracy and not division.”
Unfortunate in some respects, but probably for the best.
Update: Some unintended irony from Calgary Grit’s comments section.
Update2: More at CBC News about Rae’s press conference. Holy smokes — almost 900 comments! Meanwhile, over at the G&M, Tim Powers chooses focus in on the attacks of “Angry Bob” against the Dear Leader.
Bob Rae makes the case yesterday for opening up the leadership process and consulting with the membership as a whole.
But it’s not to be. As reported in today’s Globe & Mail, the LPC’s national executive has chosen “a middle option” for selection of the new leader whereby the party’s riding association presidents, club presidents, and defeated candidates would be allowed to weigh in on the matter, in addition to Liberal MPs and senators. Not an ideal solution, to be sure; and quite likely one that’s going to leave a lot of people amongst the rank and file feeling somewhat disenfranchised.
Update: It should come as little surprise that in response to the compromise solution proposed, in which the party “elites” would make the selection, Rae is now apparently considering “whether there’s any point to forcing a final confrontation with frontrunner Michael Ignatieff, his old friend and onetime university roommate, or simply bow out of the race now.” My bets are on him opting for the latter course of action.
Bob Rae talking with Evan Solomon on CBC’s News Sunday program and to Jane Taber on CTV’s Question Period about the coalition, the failure of the Harper government, and the future of the Liberal leadership.
As most everyone knows by now, Bob Rae will be launching his campaign today. The news conference is being opened up to “bloggers of every Liberal persuasion” (even Warren Kinsella). Should be interesting.
Update: Good questions and answers in the conference call. My question was one of the last and seeing as they were running out of time, I just asked if Bob was in favour of OMOV. The answer: “Yes, very much so. I’m strongly in favour of that.” Good. Now, I wonder what Ignatieff’s position is on this issue…
Oh, and here’s his new website (nothing to write home about, it has to be said).