10.27.2011 08:17 AM

He’s still got it

“It was almost a blur, the two men flying up the street: a former prime minister and the Man in Motion moving together, followed by dozens in fluorescent yellow windbreakers.

Jean Chrétien pushed Rick Hansen part of the way up Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa, sometimes even jogging, as part of a 7,000-strong relay to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injuries.”

Swear to God: if some of us somehow persuaded him to run again, he’d kick Stephen Harper’s ass. And you know I’m right.


  1. Pedro says:

    If only those under 30 know who Jean is and if you can get them out to vote.
    But, hey go ahead. Sounds like a strategy for the Liberals that can’t be any worse than the last.
    Something to bring to next LPC brainstorming session. “If only we could find the new Jean Chretien”.
    Spend some time and money teaching new Liberals who the greatest Liberal of the last century was.
    Sure, it was Jean Chretien.
    Fuggedabout any other great Liberals (Lalonde, Whelan, MacEachen, Gray, shall I go on?)
    I could support those principled Liberals. Today’s not so much.
    My belief is that Jean betrayed true Liberal ideas of those before him to get elected.
    Good luck with that.

    • Marc L says:

      Yeah, Lalonde and MacEachen, the two worst finance ministers in Canadian history, who fuelled the biggest deficits in Canadian history, culminating in the record 8.3% of GDP in 1984-85.

  2. MC says:

    He is quite remarkable that way. Met him a couple years ago – looks frail and elderly up close, but he was jogging up Metcalfe Street a few minutes later. In better shape than most people half his age.

    • Pedro says:

      Do you really believe that Jean was a true Liberal?
      Or only in the tradition of getting elected to move the policies he asked others to develop for him?
      Try a little searching for true Liberal philosophy. Cuz’ being in shape is the best harbinger of one’s political philosophy!
      I’ll meet you in the hallway.

  3. You are right Warren. Met him the other morning at Danson funeral, spry and sharp as ever. I told him he was honored to sit next to Dennis Mills and myself. Greatest PM the Liberal party had for many many years. Man he had street smarts.

  4. Judy says:

    Warren I really enjoy your writing but in this case you are delusional. Sorry

  5. TheSilentObserver says:

    As a former Liberal who has recently drifted NDP on the federal level, what are his chances of beating Mulcair or Topp? I know some liberals are going to take a while to get over the fact that the NDP has morphed into the broadly popular and legitimatized party the Liberals once were, but as great as Chretien was, it’s a sign of desperation that they’d consider bringing a former leader nearing 80 as their next, perhaps last, chance at forming government. As far as I’m concerned, the Liberals lost the next election when they delayed the leadership vote until 2013. Why wait two years when we know we have a viable Left/Centre-left option with a shot at forming government in 2015?

    • Rob W says:

      You live in a fantasy world of Canadian politics, and you completely misunderstand the voting public if you think a) the NDP is a viable governing party and/or b) that the NDP is anywhere close to a “Centre-left option”.

      The NDP is a far-left party in an already liberal political spectrum. Even under Harper, the CPC would still be moderate Dems in the US.

      As a hard-core, card-carrying Liberal, I will vote for the federal Liberal party in 2015, but if I didn’t have that option I would rather vote CPC than NDP.

  6. David_M says:

    Oh give the man a retirement. 77 years old and elected first in ’63. PM for 10 years.
    Let him enjoy some R&R. Its deserved I’d say.

  7. Jon Powers says:

    Better idea. Bring PET back from the grave and he can run! Liberal war room has probably already been experimenting with the zombie dust from Haiti to make it happen.

  8. Ted H says:

    He is too old to run but you know, when he was PM and he spoke for Canada I was proud of this country. Sure, he made a few gaffes but he was cool, he was avuncular, with that gravely voice he had gravitas and he conveyed a sense of caring for people.

    Now we have this stiff, Stephen Harper, representing us, with his preachy voice, lacquered hair, his reptilian smile and you just know he doesn’t give a shit about ordinary Canadians, he just plays the suckers for any votes he can get.

    • Pedro says:

      And sure, I felt as if Monsieur Jean had my back in the marketplace of ideas in Canada.
      It is all about the perception we have about the media face that is presented to us.
      If you can’t understand that the medium presentation of the facts colours your opinion of the individuals’ presentation of them then I applaud you.
      You’ve obviously moved beyond we who live below you.
      Good luck!

    • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Well said, Ted….having watched a podcast of his short speech at the “lets pull out the stops” Ken Dryden rally last election, it was clear the man had the right stuff….In five minutes he had captivated his audience…..
      Having listened to a number of Michael Ignatieff speeches(all live), more often than not I came away underwhelmed…..

      My mom, God bless her soul, always thought M. Chretien was sexy….lol

  9. james curran says:

    Please feel free to invite me to that meeting for the convincing. I will come with donations in hand.

  10. Harith says:

    And herein lies the problem: the federal Liberals are too dependent on the past (the arrogance stemming from that) and are unable to muster up someone worthy enough to take on Harper and win big.

    • Andrew says:

      And the CPC supporters aren’t nostalgic for the past? They want their women to be submissive, barefoot and pregnant!
      The LPC is justifiably proud of its accomplishments. However, they need to acknowledge their failures as well.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

        Not all, but a good share of em Mr. Tulk……you could also add wanting homos back in their closets to the list too…..

        I speak from experience….{{shudder}}

  11. Dan says:

    If you could convince the Conservatives to divide again, ANYONE could kick Steven Harper’s ass.

    That’s the problem with the Liberal party. They think their golden age was the 1990s. They need to go back further to find a time when people actually LOVED them, instead of hating the other guys.

    • Steve T says:

      This is the best comment of the bunch, in my view. As Dan says, people now seem to vote AGAINST the other party rather than FOR anyone in particular. It’s definitely how the Conservatives got into power in 2006, and certainly how Obama got into power. We need inspirational leaders, rather than the disdain for politicians in general that permeates things nowadays.

  12. steve says:

    Persuade him, maybe not Canada’s greatest PM but certainly its best manager.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      And WAY, WAY better than the so-called ‘PM” we’re saddled with now.

    • Terry says:

      Maybe not Canada’s greatest PM, but certainly close. Refusing to join the ‘coalition of the willing’ was one of the most principled and courageous decisions any PM’s ever made.

  13. Marc L says:

    Yes, he probably would kick Harper’s ass. But Bob Rae wouldn’t. And Bob Rae — not Jean Chrétien — is the current leader of the Liberals. Your party needs to get its act together and stop dwelling on the past. Otherwise, we`ll be faced with the rather unappetizing choice of having Harper as PM forever or seeing the loonie economic illiterates of te NDP take over.

  14. Jan says:

    You’re right, Gord, Tony Clement really took that small town cheap attack to the next level.

    • Pete says:

      Stupid comment and a cheap shot.

      The Chretiens are related to the Demarais by marriage with their daughter married to the co CEO.At least JC did earn money while he was out of politics and wasn’t a “ward” of the public his whole adult life like Harpo has been.

      Clement is a crook, plain and simple. And Harper approved his klepto grants.

  15. Timmy Horton says:

    “he’d kick Stephen Harper’s ass. And you know I’m right”

    To borrow your own expression – Uh-huh.
    I assume that’s just you dreaming about the good old days. But unlike the 90’s, he wouldn’t be shooting on an empty net anymore.

    • Warren says:

      Says the guy who doesn’t have the nuts to use a real name.

      • Timmy Horton says:

        Just think of me as one of millions of nameless Average Joes out there who can no longer be counted on to split the vote. He’s smart enough to recognize that too. After all, isn’t that one of the key reasons that he (and you) argued that the Liberal party should give up and merge with the NDP?

  16. Cam Prymak says:

    ‘The prime minister said his government had cleaned up the “left-wing mess federally” and said he hoped to “complete the hat trick” by turning Ontario blue come the Oct. 6 provincial election, a comment that elicited applause from the crowd.


  17. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    Cut from the same cloth, Mr. Tulk……

  18. Greg from Calgary says:

    All of the political statements aside I’m glad to see the former PM both in good health and good spirits.

    After watching how large corporations buy politicans in the US through campaign donations I always be grateful of how JC brought in donations limits. It hurt his own party fiancially but it did reduce the ability of large corps to buy elections. An honourable move on his behalf.

    Glad to see Mr. Chretien enjoying his retirement from PM.

  19. Tiger says:

    Never say never.

    But then, with his musings on party mergers and whatnot, I’m thinking the ex-PM thinks that even he couldn’t win with the current party alignment.

  20. Brad says:

    Hey Gourd, adscam is nothing compared to the money Steve wasted on the summit, or even the loose change Tony threw around his riding. That was our money, not theirs, when they finally realize that then you can call them coherent.

    • Pete says:

      Gord’s idea of coherent is Tony Clement. Think about that and you now know what type of character Gord is.


      • Pete says:

        The proof is there but the reformatorts will bury it until their is such a clamour it will force them to fire Clement. the AG is possibly our only hope for full exposure.
        I also remember their accountability act well. I don’t recall it saying they could stonewall everything they wanted to

  21. Pete says:

    You are a good dodge ball player obviously. There’s not a fact in the world you can’t find an excuse for.

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