03.22.2012 08:45 AM

Picture, thousand words, etc.

Last night at the Heritage Dinner, a couple federal Liberals gently took me to task, insisting that Bob Rae isn’t running for the permanent leader’s post – contrary to his solemn promise, and contrary to the rules of fairness (ie. using the resources of the leader’s office, and the LPC, to promote his leadership run).

Uh-huh, said I. Gotcha. Seen the billboards all over Toronto-Danforth, perchance?

He’s not running for anything. Nope. Whatever gave you that idea?


  1. Brian says:

    He’s going to tumble into the job ‘by accident.’

    PS: Garneau should be your guy.

  2. Bill says:

    There is a lot of speculation about whether he’ll break his “solemn promise”. If he is not running, all Rae needs to do is issue a one sentence press release affirning his commitment not to run. This has not been done. Sure, the onus is not on him but it keeps people talking and what good does that do?

    • Brian says:

      In fact, it does harm, by eclipsing speculation and discussion about all the other potential candidates, who could use the profile that Rae’s sponge-like ego is soaking up.

      • William says:

        I don’t think it eclipses speculation on other candidates.

        If we’re to take Bob at his word that he’s not running as permanent leader then why would other candidates not want to put their hand up now?

        • Ted B says:

          That is a very big “if” there William.

          Too big in fact.

          The question has been put to him directly and he equivocates, evades.

          If he does run, I can see lots and lots and lots of other candidates who would not want to put their hand up.

          And, more importantly, I can see lots and lots and lots of other candidates who would not want to put their hand up until he clears up the answer one way or another.

          • William says:

            The question has been put to him directly and he equivocates, evades.

            All the more reason for interested parties to put their hands up now.

          • Ted B says:

            I think you don’t know too much about how these things actually work, if you want to be successful either as a candidate seeking leadership or as possible candidate for key critics and possibly cabinet positions.

  3. Tdotlib says:

    Warren I respect your experience but I disagree with you on this. Isn’t it at all possible that this billboard was trying to play on any residual nostalgia for when Rae was active in the riding as an elected representative? I mean, is the interim leader supposed to be entirely invisible during a by election where a party is running a virtually unknown candidate? Would Grant’s face on a billboard done a better job of connecting to the electorate?

    Yes, I believe the man needs to declare himself once and for all. Yes, I think that him as permanent leader is the wrong choice. No, I don’t think this is proof that he intends to run for the permanent job.

    I understand that you believe that this is a matter of life or death for our party and that may be why your so vehement on this. I don’t agree. No matter the result next year, you can’t deny that Rae is doing yeoman’s work as the interim leader.

  4. Inge says:

    It is nobody’s business but his, Rae’s, alone, and certainly not the CONS’

  5. William says:

    Rae’s the interim face of the party and that party is participating in elections, that’s just a fact.

    I don’t want Rae as the next leader but I don’t think he shouldn’t be allowed to run for it. All I want is an acknowledgement, and now, that he intends to do so.

  6. Chris Schnurr says:

    As much as I don’t particularly care for Mr. Rae, and as much as I believe he should abide by the directive of the membership, a party leader’s – iterim or not – job is to further the interests of, and represent the party. Re those billboards, at least from the shot provided, I don’t see “leader” either. What is he supposed to do? Sit in the background and be invisible? One only needs to point to the NDP to see how that is working out.

  7. Chris Schnurr says:

    I follow-up with a question. What would happen if this was a minority government situation and an election was called? Would you demand Mr. Rae step down?

    • William says:

      My own guess was that had this been a minority government, we would already have had a LPC leadership convention so Bob would have already received the thumbs up/down by now.

    • Jason King says:

      You rarely provide citation and when you do its often from opinion or wikipedia. In that perspective most of your points are equally moot.

      • Conservative Socialist says:

        Well, Ignatieff lost his seat. So he didn’t really have much of a choice but to resign.

      • Ted B says:

        You often show you have no idea what you are talking about Gord, but this one really takes the cake.

        Were you anywhere near Canada in May 2011?

        Do you not remember the angry calls for his resignation? The outrage that he didn’t resign that very evening?

        And have you been anywhere near Canada in the last 6 years? There is no way Ignatieff was paving the way for Rae to become the local crossing guard, let alone leader.

  8. sj says:

    What is needed for the LPC is renewal — something new. I have a great deal of respect for Bob Rae and even more for his brother John. But Bob needs to abide by the agreement he made to be the interim, caretaker leader. And then support which ever next generation pol takes over. This is the time for him to follow in the foot steps of Herb Gray, and put his personal ambitions aside and do what is best for the party and the country.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      The question remains……who is as experienced, talented, and as well respected in the HOC?…..of the names bandied about, (nine thus far that I have heard as possible contendahs)……Mr. Rae, imho, is still head and shoulders above them all…….
      Ill take experience over “flavour of the month” or “messiah” anyday…..as we saw how well that worked out with Mr. Ignatieff……

      • Ted B says:

        There’s a lot of options between old experience and “flavour of the month” or “messiah”. Those aren’t the only two options.

        Who thought Harper was a serious candidate in 2002. He’s done alright for himself and his party without any charisma, character, decency, etc.

        • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

          I agree Mr. Harper doesnt really have any redeeming qualities, but he is whip smart intelligent, has street smarts as well, and he(and his cabal) goes for the jugular each and every time……

          I just want the leader, whoever that may be, to be able to parry and thrust with the best(or should that be worst?) the Harper cabal can thow at him or her…….

          • Ted B says:

            Yes, absolutely. But we also have to give them a chance. We should commit to letting the next leader run in two elections before blaming all of the parties woes on him/her.

            Harper, Mike Harris, Dalton McGuinty, even a known quantity like Jean Charest all required two elections to get elected, but then continued to get elected and form government (Harper 3X, Harris 2X, McGuinty 3X, Charest 3X).

  9. kre8tv says:

    The copy on that billboard reads an awful lot like the sweaty rhetoric of a creepy jilted ex BF (or GF).

    Sad, man.

  10. Michael S says:

    Liberal convention is being moved up to the fall. Looks like Bob’s trying to close the deal.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      The Liberals should stick to the plan. Let’s keep Martin’s people where they go the party … out of the way.

  11. Mulletaur says:

    Oh look, Warren, it’s Scott ‘Beer and Popcorn’ Reid :


    Wonder if there are more former Martin people working for Rae.


  12. Philippe says:

    For the anti-Rae crowd I ask: who else? If you can find an Obama within our ranks, I’m 100% on board. I don’t see anyone that has the same stage-presence & charisma (hence giving us a better shot at winning), but I hope to be proven wrong.

    The problem with Iggy and Dion wasn’t that they were defined by the Cons. The problem was that they were horrible orators.

    • Ted B says:

      So was/is Harper.

      And Harper was never considered a serious contender with stage-presence and charisma.

      I think he’s done ok for himself.

      There are lots of good leaders. We just don’t let them grow into the role.

  13. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    If there were a better, stronger more experienced Liberal to be the leader, we would probably be looking at him or her already.

  14. Lumipallo says:

    I’m a pompous ass.

  15. Steve T says:

    I am not sure that having Rae on the billboard equates with him running for leader. You yourself have said the Libs need to get out the message, rather than acting like doormats. Well, here is a step in that direction. Who else’s face should be on a Liberal billboard, other than the current (interim) leader’s?

  16. Steven says:

    I am not privy to any internal polling, etc.

    I am a Liberal, through and through.

    I was bummed out when Ontario voted in a Rae and the NDP.

    I supported Ignatieff every step of the way.

    I can say this, however:

    1. Bob Rae is a Liberal. Just ask Stephen Lewis;

    2. Bob Rae pissed off the traditonal NDP/Big Union/Welfare State cabal and he is persona non grata / class traitor as far as they are concerned;

    3. every time the HarperCons attack, the Liberal Party of Canada should replay, again, and again, and again:

    (a) every seditious/Canada Sucks statement that Harper made as a National Citizens’ / Reform /Alliance mouthpiece ( e.g. firewalls around Alberta, third rate socialist country);

    (b) every Bush kiss-ass / Obama-sniping statement he made as Alliance / CPC Leader ( e.g. The Liberal Chretien Government should have supported Bush and sent troops to Iraq);

    (c) every “there will be no deficit” promise the HarperCons made to voters in October 2008;

    Just saying.

  17. Dennis Mills says:

    Warren, My fault on the billboards, I still believe they helped in the by-election. If anyone should know about the positive feelings that many people in the riding have towards Bob its yours truly.

  18. James Curran says:

    Refresh my memory. Did we have Bill Graham billboards?

  19. bluegreenblogger says:

    I was wondering if anybody would notice that there was a by-election last week in Toronto Danforth? So the Liberals stuck the most recognisable Liberal face on a bunch of billboards… Sure it helps Rae, but I do not know if those billboards were purchased before the by-election writ period, then might they not just be the National Party helping out the local campaign? I believe that EC specifically addresses this as an instance when additional spending is allowed without impacting spending limits. If an advertisement is purchased over a period of time starting before the writ period, then you do not have to tear it down to avoid having the costs apply towards the by-election spending limit.

    It appears that the Liberals, at least many of those commenting here are gleefully getting ready to repeat history with a good old fashioned Liberal style leadership, and character smashing frenzy. To abuse a hackneyed quote (actually paraphrase) further, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, whilst expecting a different outcome. If the Liberals really cannot display a modicum of restraint, if they cannnot recognise that their Party is at the edge of extinction, and that it is largely their own infighting that created the situation, then they do not desrve to exist. This backbiting is what is truly as dumb as a bag of hammers. I have been observing the Liberals in action for decades now, and it seems that there is a whole class of activists who relish the opportunity to sleaze their way through another leadership. Just put a muzzle on it already…

  20. kitte says:

    Will the lot of yu’all stop sitting around the Liberal tent and shooting inward? Geez!!! Rae is doing a good job keeping the Liberal party alive so ffs leave him alone UNTIL he really IS running for Liberal leader. And if the executives say he can run, yu’all ain’t got nufin to say bout it. That’s why you elected the executive. TO MAKE DECISIONS!!!

    In the meantime where are all the “liberal saviours” yu’all keep talking bout??? Why are they not grabbing some of the headlines? Huh? I don’t see or hear ANY OTHER Liberal stepping up to make comments on Reformatory mismanagement of democracy, except Ralph Goodale and he don’t speak french. So WHO?

    So QUIT, just freakin QUIT yammering about Rae WHO IS DOING A GREAT JOB!!!

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