September 27, 2006

Worth breaking my "blogger code"...

Unlike SOME fuddle duddle bloggers (cough, cough)* I've generally been trying to keep my posts from being interminably lengthy ramblings about the wonders of the candidate I'm supporting. Firstly, I just don't think I'm as credible on any issue when a post is written from a leadership-oriented paradigm. Secondly, I figure Dion addresses most of the issues better than I can anyway. Thirdly, I'm a generally pretty lazy blogger.

HOWEVER, I've decided to breach my own "no-flagrant-boasting-about-your-candidate" code to give a shout out to

this post. (Ah, screw it. I'm not just linking it, I'm straight up copying and pasting it because I just don't want to lose the few of you who might be turned off by the extra click.)

To wake up every day and learn something new and inspiring about your candidate continues to be not just a privilege, but truly an honour. Thanks, SD =)

Sept. 26/06 Stephane Dion

Last Changed on: 27 September 2006 (Original post date: 27 September 2006) posted by Steve Paikin

I had never met Stephane Dion before tonight's interview, and I must confess, I wondered why so many pundits were giving this guy such laudatory notices. I had only ever seen him on television, and then again, in short sound bites. Now, having met him, I can see what much of the fuss is about. I always knew he was solid on policy. I wondered about whether his English was strong enough to attract voters in English Canada. I also wondered whether a former Quebec intellectual and academic had the requisite people skills for the job.

If the reaction in our studio today was any indication, the answer is, yes he does have it. Dion entered our studio today and did something almost no politician ever does: he shook hands with all the members of our studio crew. I have interviewed hundreds of politicians in that studio over the past 12 years, and I can count on one hand the number of them that
bothered to introduce themselves to the cameramen and/or other technicians. So right away, the crew was positively disposed to him.

You can judge the interview for yourself, but what impressed me was how quick he was on his feet (or, I guess more accurately, on his seat). His English did seem more than satisfactory to the task. He was charming and amusing in ways I had never seen him before. He also demonstrated an enthusiasm and passion for the job, and all of it on five hours sleep a night.

Dion not only submitted to an interview off the top of the program, but also joined four other analysts in a discussion about where the Liberal Party of Canada is today. I know plenty of politicians who might have begged off tangling with their critics on television on the eve of the most important delegate selection vote of their political careers. But he didn't. I suspect hs overall performance only enhanced his stature with our viewers tonight.

*I've decided to start playing up the fact that people think Antonio and I don't get along, which is totally ridiculous. People, we're friends! Trust me!

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