I don’t know what Bob Rae has planned for the summer but he must be relieved he won’t be flipping burgers on the political BBQ circuit.
Now that he won’t be seeking the Liberal leadership he can put on his flip-flops and head for the lake with his family.
He was expected by many to run but Mr. Rae is a very thoughtful man and all things considered, he decided to pass on this opportunity. Sometimes the best (and most difficult) course of action is to sit back and just let events unfold. He will be sitting this one out thank you very much.
After 30 years of public service he has nothing to prove and in spite of what his critics might say he really has nothing to apologize for.
Being a man of personal integrity he has no grudges to pursue and he has no desire to lower his standards in a bun fight with the prime minister.
In some ways Bob Rae was the heir apparent after the twin disasters of Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff and they would have been an easy act to follow. Ordinarily he would have jumped in the ring but he took the extraordinary step of abdicating his share of the throne and forcing everyone’s hand. He caught a few people by surprise.
Isn’t it amazing what you can do if your ego doesn’t get in the way?
Bob Rae has been preparing himself for the prime minister’s office for some time but after two unsuccessful attempts he stepped aside graciously and with dignity for the good of the country. How refreshing it is to see a senior politician put the needs of the country ahead of his own ambition.
There was a time in this fair land when Canada came first in all political discussions.
I have a book of great Canadian speeches on my shelf and I sometimes read them for inspiration when all seems lost in Ottawa.
They date back from before confederation all the way to the early 21st century.
Every speaker - from Louis Riel to Lester Pearson to Brian Mulroney to David Suzuki – makes careful reference to the good of the country and the rights of all Canadians.
Political parties and personal ambition were secondary considerations. Insults and personal attacks were not necessary. Opponents were won over with intelligent arguments and historical facts.
These are the tools Bob Rae has at his disposal but unfortunately they are of little use in today’s abrasive political climate.
His clever wit, good humor and historical perspective are lost on the loudmouth schnooks in the house who use one-liners and put-downs from television sitcoms to make their points. Who needs the aggravation, right Bob?
But whether it was intentional or not, Bob Rae’s refusal to play is causing some problems for his political opponents.
Both the NDP and the ¬Con¬ser¬vatives have been preparing for his anticipated leadership and had plans to destroy him and the Liberal Party once and for all.
It’s getting personal and it won’t be pretty.
But now, thanks to Bob Rae, everything has changed and all bets are off.
The Conservatives are particularly miffed. They started their attack on Bob Rae months ago and have already wasted considerable dollars destroying his good name.
If this was a strategic move on the part of the Liberals, it was pure genius.
Not only that, now the ¬Con¬ser¬va¬tives have to wait until next spring before they have a new Liberal leader to attack.
Who will it be? Will Justin Trudeau be lured into the race? Will it be one of the also-rans from the previous two leadership campaigns? The suspense must be killing the Tory strategists. They may have to start attacking themselves just to keep in practice.
Bob Rae is 63 years old and some are tempted to write him off as a political force. But as any baby boomer will tell you, 60 is the new 40. He describes himself as healthy and energetic. He is experienced, very smart and compassionate.
The question is, what does he have planned for the future and will Canada still love him when he’s 64?
In the end it may have been an easier decision for Mr. Rae than he is letting on. With the prospect of hard-hitting Conservative attack ads and the abrasive nature of Canadian politics in general, this time around any self-respecting Canadian politician would have to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.