JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A HATCHET PIECE ON BOB RAE BY ADAM GOLDENBERG, FORMER MICHAEL IGNATIEFF SPEECHWRITER – SO THE WRITER FOR ONE OF THE MOST INEPT POLITICIANS IN HISTORY QUESTIONS THE ACTIVITIES OF ONE OF THE MOST POLISHED   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY ADAM GOLDENBERG IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I do not even understand why Adam Goldenberg has written this hatchet-job piece.

And I do not understand his qualification to do so, since having been a chief speechwriter to Michael ignatieff is pretty much an overblown claim to nothing.

Ignatieff plainly is the most terribly failed politician of our time, and his poor judgment and lack of skills have given us a legacy of a national government bent on copying the right wing of the Republican Party down to almost every detail.

Many of us knew that it would be so: Ignatieff is by nature a standoffish man and his spoken words have always been considerably less than dazzling. Mr Goldenberg’s efforts appear to have no spice to a dull dish.

Of course, there was Ignatieff’s past service to the worst war crime of this generation, the invasion of Iraq, an event in which a million or so perished. his claims to being a genuine liberal (small “l”) were always tenuous.

He proved himself a much overrated person in a dozen more ways when he took on the Liberal leadership.

He made a dumb speech at the convention attacking his own party which then became useful attack-material for the Harperites.

He accepted being parachuted into a riding, and then arrogantly chose not to live there, after having promised he would.

He accepted being parachuted into the leadership, an act which starkly cast doubt on Ignatieff’s democratic values.

Ignatieff went on that ludicrous Ma and Pa Kettle Cross Country Bus Trip when it became obvious to Party leaders he had no ability to communicate and empathize with people.

Since when does a bus trip change one’s character? It only made him look ridiculous on top of all his other shortcomings.

He always raged and blubbered against a coalition when it was clear to many – given the Liberal Party’s weakened status – that that was the only way to wrest power from Harper’s minority.

And Ignatieff chose when to call an election – he didn’t have to do so, but he did – and it was the most destructive election call in my lifetime.

Compared to Ignatieff’s fumbling, preachiness, lackluster speechmaking, poorly chosen issues, lack of organizational skills, and just plain boring personality, Bob Rae still looks remarkably good.

“Then he ran and lost, then ran again…”

That is subtly but definitely dishonest. There was no second-time race. Ignatieff was handed the leadership by a small group of Liberal Party insiders.

I and many others believe Bob Rae could have beaten Ignatieff, Rae being one of the most eloquent politicians of our generation, rising to levels of clever observation and well-chosen words Mr ignatieff could only dream of.

Of course, the genuine question is not why the talented Bob Rae ran and is running but why the inept Michael Ignatieff ever thought he had something to offer, other than some kind of legacy claim to crown his family’s achievements. Pure arrogance.
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“Liberals are now in third place and electing a man with a track record of failing to run provinces well during a recession (which is exactly the situation we are in now) will do nothing to fix that.”

You have it precisely wrong: he ran it well under the circumstances.

There were hard choices to make, and he made them.

“Rae Days” were a thoughtful and decent option to large dismissals.

Union leaders and cheap columnists have never forgiven him.

And that doesn’t say a lot for their speaking in an informed manner or displaying effective intelligence.

For completely different reasons however I think Bob Rae’s day may have passed. I do not see the Liberal Party regaining its position any time soon.

Harper’s potential for growth is exhausted, 39.6% certainly being his high-water mark, a number interestingly which is close to the highest number achieved by the National Socialists when they ran as a democratic party in the early 1930s.

There is a dazzling new star on the political scene, and his name is Thomas Mulcair.

I do believe he has a serious chance of making the NDP Canada’s other major party and of rising above the old sort-of Boy Scout image from which the Party long has suffered.

I don’t see anyone else in the Liberals remotely up to the challenge. Talk of Justin Trudeau is pathetic. He has more of his mother’s genes than his father’s.

Dalton McGuinty is sickening and tiresome to almost everyone in Ontario, and it is only the PC’s stupid moves that have kept him going – first, John Tory’s insistence on committing political suicide and then the Party’s electing the current nasty gnome, Hudak, as leader.

Dominic LeBlanc is an intelligent and attractive candidate, but he never seems to have caught fire in the Party.

While intelligence is important, politics is far from a rational process, many emotional and lucky factors playing roles.

The Liberals cannot succeed without Quebec, and they are now far out-shown there by Mr Mulcair.

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