Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rae Reaches Out

You've probably already read that Bob Rae participated, or I guess I should say his team initiated, a conference call with a group of bloggers today.

First of all, he and his team, specifically Braeden Caley, deserve kudos for being the first to do this kind of outreach with bloggers during this race. I hope this interaction continues from his camp and others.

The call was open and covered a range of issues. These things of course never lend themselves to much detail, but neither did the forum last weekend. Time is always an issue. Bob did answer each question directly and seemed to be looking forward to lengthier discussions concerning what he intends to offer the party through his leadership.

He is facing his record head on and spoke to clarifying some of the mythology that has surrounded same, while also speaking to his experience and accomplishments. He was asked about the 'poll' that was leaked to the media and seemed fairly sanguine in the knowledge that it would not be the last attempt by his opponents to go after him. He noted how it was one question provided without context and was not in fact a poll. I would agree that it seemed to be a bit of mischief put out there designed to take the sheen off his announcement.

Like the other two contenders, he's committed to maintaining the environment as an integral part of an overall platform, but was blunt in terms of how we as a party must be able to listen to the 'ground' when implementing policy. Something tells me that anything that even remotely rhymes with 'Green Shift' is going to be far, far away from the lips of all the potential leaders.

Overall the conversation, like the forum last Sunday, made me realise that I am anxious to see more detail from all the potential leaders and I look forward to some interesting debate on how to best lead the party toward a rewarding and successful future.

For more summaries of the call: Calgary Grit, Danielle Takacs, Bowie, Scott's DiaTribe, BC'er

3 comments:

RuralSandi said...

It's good that he has reached out to the handful of bloggers - but, the Liberals have to connect with the rest of Canada.

I think the media will be more of a problem for Rae and his record.

I watched Peter Van Dusen on CPAC interviewing Shawn Murphy-supporting LeBlanc, Mark Holland-supporting Ignatieff and Mike Savage-supporting Rae.

They were all very respectful, etc., but Van Husen kept trying to goad them into saying negatives - especially Rae's record.

Rae may try to blame the other canadidates' camps, but I think the media is the problem. They are trying to push for Liberal infighting just so they can have a story.

I have to wonder - don't the NDP, CPC and Greens have "in family" issues too?

knb said...

Sandi, Rae sounded quite committed to reaching out to the rest of Canada, especially the West.

I agree with you about the media and not just in Rae's case. Thus far, they are predictable and incredibly limited in their view and narrative vis a vis each candidate.

To my way of thinking, once they start having debates etc., issues and their strategy have to take centre stage.

The infighting is getting really old. You know all the hoo-haw about the forum and then Ignatieff and Rae being seated beside each other in the House?

Apparently they asked to sit together and I think having them way off at the end was a good idea because their absence during the race won't constantly be highlighted on camera.

So far the media has brought us their typical low-brow coverage. I hope these candidates bring intellect back into fashion.

catherine said...

knb, I'm happy to hear that Rae and Ignatieff apparently asked to sit together. I really didn't like to see Rae feeding the media with more Liberal infighting about the forum, but if those two look beyond these things, I should too. Rae's blogger reach out shows he appreciates that one can get together and take questions from a Liberal crowd and still support openness in general.