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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I needed a break

I haven't posted in a while. All this "nation" talk got me a little agitated, so I figured a break was in order. And what better way to get away from this highly-charged, emotional political atmosphere than to attend the Ontario Liberal Party AGM with 1500 other highly-charged, emotional politicos??

It was an awesome weekend. I met up with some old friends and got to know some new ones. On Saturday, I participated in some of the policy discussions and sessions leading up to the 2007 provincial election. The Premier gave a rousing speech to the assembly on Sunday afternoon. I'm convinced he'll be re-elected in 2007.

JAMES CARVILLE WAS FANTASTIC!!! (even if his speech was too short). Very entertaining yet very useful. Three key points: Politics is about telling a compelling story; saying less helps you communicate more; and it's ok to marry a Republican so long as you stick to your own principles.

Don't worry, though: I didn't leave leadership politics behind. I got the chance to sit down with some of the bigger players in this race. Senator David Smith was kind enough to take me out for a drink. This guy is cool and he is poised. He just oozes the sureness and confidence that only comes with being a seasoned political veteran. We talked for over half an hour about leadership (past and present), his history as a point-man on candidate recruitment and the relationships he's built with other players in this party. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if Michael Ignatieff wins in December, Senator David Smith will have been the major cause.

I also conducted a blogging interview with Gerard Kennedy. His energy is almost fascinating. I'm still not sure he has what it takes to be Prime Minister, but I'm certainly more favourable towards him now than I was a week ago. Special thanks go out to CG and JE for setting it up for me. I will be sure to post the interview as soon as possible.

Oh yeah. I was also formally introduced to Michael Ignatieff for the first time. He is a very tall man. And I enjoyed his tie.

In any case, I leave you with this picture. The caption should read: "John Lennard nets Bob Rae two high-profile endorsements."

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