Friday, May 2, 2014

PREMIER COLEMAN ON CHARM OFFENSIVE

Too much politics as of late! I should be ignoring it all together in favor of the playoffs or Spring Cleaning.

Premier Frank Coleman sat in with VOCM Open Line Host Paddy Dally this morning. The Premier is been on the offensive all week making media appearances and doing interviews to introduce himself to the voting public.

After a couple of rough weeks of being defined by the media and the opposition, the political neophyte who has won the top political job in the province is on a blitz campaign.

Coleman is obvious a noob. The attention, the glare of the cameras, the pointed questions and the demands of answering are new to him.  This man is not your stereotypical politician. I would argue that he is the wrong kind of noob for the job at hand.

He is frank (no pun-intended) about what he knows, or should I say does not know about the running of government. Part of me really wants to concede that this fresh, non-manipulative style is a welcome departure from the plastic partisan politics we are so used to here. 

He did not depart from his notes a great deal, the messages seemed clear. Give me some time, I am learning the issues, there is a lot to learn. The most important message his spinners want out there is that he has no connections to the current cabinet, the current MHAs or any mistakes that have been made.

The issue of course is that he successfully interviewed for the top job and now owns it.  We need to have confidence that our leader has a grip on the issues, has convictions and a vision. So far he has not really illustrated that.

His speaking style is boring, his level of personal charisma is not high. I assume his strength is going to be his weakness, he is not a career politician - he was reluctantly pressed into service for the good of the province. 

When I have a broken pipe I call a plumper. When my roof needs fixing I call a roofer. If I need renovations, I call a carpenter.  A carpenter that can not drive a nail is not going to me much good to me.

His perceived pillars of strength going into the leadership process were his perceived integrity and his business acumen.  Those pillars have been shaken hard by the Humber Valley Paving fiasco. When most pundits and observers are calling the new Premier Dead On Arrival - shoring up his reputation is going to be a challange.

The bad news is that no matter how much he is painting himself out as an outsider, he is the leader of a party that has been in power for 11 years, that has lost its way and is carrying a lot of political liabilities right now.

The good news for him is that he has a pretty new slate.

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