08.12.2015 01:10 PM

Changing the channel: words of wisdom from The Rainmaker

(Who I miss very, very much, by the way. I adored that man.)

Here’s what Senator Davey famously said: “If the other guy says, ‘You’re fat,’ don’t say, ‘I’m not.’ Say, ‘You’re ugly.'”

Which brings us to this photo of someone’s jacket, captured this morning in Saskatchewan and sent to me:


“I am ready.”

We see the same problem in this Liberal ad: they’re repeating the negative the Tories are disseminating about them.

Stop doing that, Team Trudeau.  Stop, stop, stop.  Stop leading with your chin.  Stop repeating the negative.  Stop staying within the other guy’s frame.

Start changing the channel, instead.





  1. fares says:

    brief but one of your best posts

  2. nic coivert says:

    Good advice.

  3. Louis Nickols says:

    good post…We are taught at school the best way to deal with negativity is to chang the channel as you said…I guess the Lib campaign leader skipped that day

  4. Ron Waller says:

    One has to wonder how the Liberals managed to put together the worst campaign teams over the past 10 years, election after election, leader after leader.

    They keep making the same rookie mistakes over and over.

    Like Trudeau saying he will grow the economy from the heart outwards. How did they not know this line would be disastrous?

    Maybe Liberals hand over the job of running campaigns to cronies instead of hiring professionals. Kind of like the way they govern…

    • Michael Bluth says:

      It’s almost like a funhouse mirror image of the fiasco conservatives went through from 1993 to 2004. Although they didn’t win power in 2004 they re-established themselves as a legitimate option to form government. G. Butts et al are the ones who really aren’t ready.

      Trudeau and his braintrust made a real mistake here. By creating this ad he legitimizes Harper (and Mulcair) saying he’s not ready/not up to the job. He makes that the central question of the campaign. There are a litany of mistakes in his short tenure as leader. It’s an easy argument to make that he isn’t ready. The ad very well could drive those who will never vote for Harper to the NDP and those who might switch between the Conservatives and the Liberals to the Conservatives.

      • Michael Bluth says:

        Almost on cue a little more fuel to the not ready/not up to the job fire. From a CP story by Dean Bennett today (Wednesday).

        “Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made his first campaign trip to the Saskatchewan heartland Wednesday with the message that his party will grow the economy not from the ‘top down,’ but from the ‘heart outwards.’ ”

        Does anybody have a clue wtf that means?

        Best case scenario it was an unscripted remark and the brain trust has to work a little harder to ensure the importance of staying on message is drilled home.

        Worst case? They brain trust actually think that’s effective messaging. It may move the dial, but likely not in the direction they want.

        The whole thing makes me want to vomit from the stomach upwards.

  5. !o! says:

    Yeah, he had a moment in the debate where he referred to his being ‘mercilessly criticized’ or attacked for something or other by the conservatives and I just cringed. Asserting that what they say is not true (e.g. I am ready) presupposes that the question is at least well-formed and debatable (‘are you/is he ready’) rather than being nonsense. It’s like the old ‘why did you rob the bank’ kind of leading question, anything but treating the question as ill-formed puts you pretty far behind.

  6. Christian Giles says:

    If the Libs were to do an ad like this..


    OMFG Warren. It really is the new gold standard. I’d totally vote for this guy!

  7. MississaugaPeter says:

    Many of the know-it-all gang around JT were involved in university debating. They are drawing from that experience rather than the experience of actually running winning election campaigns (sorry, charismatic JT becoming Liberal leader, a high schooler could have done).

    As a result, I am waiting next for a Liberal commercial referring to or in essence referring to the “engine that could”.

    The know-it-gang’s debating experience and Trudeau’s drama experience got them through the first debate. Now, they believe they are invincible. Any outside criticism is discounted as being that of a disgruntled, old Liberal.

    WK, trying to give them advice is useless. The only way you may get them to do anything is by reverse psychology or by sucking up to them and first feeding their oversized opinions of themselves.

    Likely end result: Instead of Trudeau victory, Trudeau coming in third. After a year on top, they took Trudeau from 24 Sussex to not even Stornoway. Trudeau’s charisma had them on top. That is the reason for the other party’s attack ads. Fear of it coming back. Legitimate fear. But the length of the campaign was made to pounce on a Trudeau misstep. The Liberal know-it-alls should be reminding Canadians of the decade of Conservative lies and failure to achieve, but they will not.

  8. ian turnbull says:

    “Build the economy from the heart”…..the Conservatives and NDP couldn’t have written a better script themselves. Maye Justin’s team believes “Just not ready” is a winning brand for him?

  9. Piper says:

    But Warren, the Justin-Butts election strategy is a rear guard action because they obviously have concluded they will not win and their new ‘winning’ is just survival for 2019.

    Justin’s Liberals must take the long view because current prospects are grim and somewhat hopeless too. They must recognize that reality.

    So what can they do except trying to win the 18 – 28 y.o. voting cohort now and hoping that it will pay off in 4 years in 2019 when it becomes the 22 – 32 y.o. voting cohort? Survival now, payoff later.

  10. rabbit says:

    Trudeau may as well run national ads that read…

    Justin: Not as unready as they say.

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