Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Where do people get this stuff?

I see that the latest speculation has Peter MacKay going over to defence. Here is the product of four Globe and Mail political writers:

It was still unclear Monday night what Mr. Harper would do with current Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, who has had a difficult time in the portfolio. Insiders predicted Monday night he will be moved.

Mr. MacKay would be a convenient fit in the role for a number of reasons. He, too, is seen as a good communicator in a portfolio where Mr. O'Connor has been accident-prone in handling issues such as the alleged torture of Afghan detainees.
Say what? Peter MacKay a good communicator? Has any member of Parliament had to issue more clarifications, retractions, and even denials (yes, we still remember Belinda and the canine remark) than Peter MacKay? The guy has a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease, yet here he is being sold as the saviour at defence.

Where do people get this stuff? Then again, if Harper does make the move, it would mean that he agrees with them, right? My goodness.

To be honest, all the speculation was very funny for a while, but it is really annoying me now, particularly since most of it is validated by being "from a senior Tory", or "a source close to whoever", neither of which I can credit.

I'm not sure who is worst - the people who speculate so authoritatively, the guy from CTV who says, "Well just because everyone expects him to move O'Connor, Harper is so contrary, he will do the opposite just to spite us", or the distinguished professor from Ottawa who says it really doesn't matter who the ministers are, Harper runs everything himself.

I guess it just underlines the fact that one of the reasons the media dislike Harper so much is that he refuses to feed them information unless and until he wants to.

They do however seem to want to build McKay up (as the next leader ??? - hopefully not). The other reason I read for moving him to Defence was that as well as being a good communicator, he "looked good in a flak suit".

So I guess maybe the professor was right, it dowesn't matter who the minister is. Harper does all the work and the Minister is just there for the photo-op.


Given O'Connor's struggles at defence, I think who a minister is matters.

O'Connor's lack of communications skills have allowed the opposition and critics to undermine the mission. It's why we need a disciplined pro in there. It's why I think Jim Prentice is perfect for the job.


I completely agree that a minister and how he presents himself is extremely important. i was just trying to make the point that the media seem to think it's all about sizzle and not about substance.

I think O'Connor has done an OK job technically, but certainly his lack of media training has left him wide open to being mauled by the press.


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