As sure as the Sun will rise, I thought Bob Rae was going to declare his intention to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party.
Consider me one of the surprised that he has decided a run for the permanent leader's chair is not in the cards. Is he playing shy, is this just a calculated move to have Liberals come to him, to not be seen to covet the job? He can always change his mind.
He will continue as interim leader until next spring, when the party chooses a new permanent leader.
For what it is worth, I am disappointed. The leadership race has lost a dynamic presence. Without him the campaign to lead the third party may lack some luster. He has kept his promise not to seek the job on a full-time basis, despite a very active lobby to change his mind. He is a man of principle and honor.
However, the field is wide open for fresh faces and renewal. The question is who has the talent, personality and grit to bring the party back from political margins?
I suppose all eyes will now fall on the perceived prince, Canada's own Prince of Wales, the very charismatic Justin Trudeau. The desperate for new life, third party rain-makers want another rush of Trudeaumania.
I have heard Justin speak, and have had the opportunity to speak with him on a number of occasions. There is not doubt that the embers of leadership are burning. He has style, charisma, intelligence, empathy, warmth and is very engaging. He has the brawn to match!
He is a future Prime Minister, but is he a leader for the times? Can he convince Canadian's that a center-left Liberal Party is better than the left-center Mulcair New Democrat's? Can he make in-roads in Quebec? Atlantic Canada and a very fractured Ontario are not a recipe for official opposition, let-a-lone government.
I think he is a fantastic resource. He can do much more for the party raising money, talking about policy and organizing. The political maturation process is not complete. He needs more experience, He needs to accomplish something besides being who he is. Sure, he has lots of talent but I am not convinced that he has accepted a coherent political philosophy, or established an independent intellectual presence.
I would hate to see his legacy, his talent and his potential wasted by a premature leadership win.
Of course, if he waits, the son of a great Liberal Prime Minister may become the leader of an amalgamated Liberal - NDP entity.