The 260 or so Liberal supporters at tonight's Auction and Leader's Dinner are getting ready for the speeches. The real news of the night is the demographics and the wine list!
St. John's businessman, and Liberal White Knight, Dean MacDonald has provided a half dozen bottles of wine for each table of ten. Each bottle has a tag declaring "Compliments of Dean MacDonald". It is hard not to take a message away that the charismatic businessman wants to remain on the minds of donors and supporters.
It must be awkward for interim, wannabe leader, Dwight Ball, who is the keynote speaker tonight. Ball may want to be leader but if MacDonald wants the job....who can stop him?
MacDonald is seen as the person best able to retire the debt, breathe new life into the party and attract candidates that have been reluctant to support the party in this period of Progressive Conservative domination.
It must be frustrating for Ball to be going through the motions, knowing that the gathered are loosened up on wine provided by the great white hope. The talk is all about when MacDonald will announce his intentions, what roles people will play and dreams of returning to power. Premature, but intoxicating.
I'll give credit to MacDonald, he a master at marketing. He knows how to create buzz.
Rest assured that there are a few sitting and former MHA's, and staff , who will have found the wine not to their tastes.
The other note of encouragement for the Liberal Party is the demographics. There are a lot of young professionals at tonight's event. The shenanigans, arrogance and contempt for democracy expressed by the Progressive Conservatives appears to be spurring on a desire for change.
These are good signs for a wilting Liberal Party that has been desperate for renewal, nourishment and resurgence