Yesterday's press conference by Michael Ignatieff was contrived by backroom Liberals to thrust their guy into the mold of "Big Time Leadership". The thinking being that if the coverage over the weekend and the remaining five days of this parliamentary session could be shaped by Ignatieff staring down Stephen Harper in a "just watch me" moment, Canadians may begin to visualize the two men as equals and rivals.
But instead of seeing a stand-off, most commentators are still stuck on just how hollow and irrelevant Iggy's press conference was. The result is that no one is saying the name "Ignatieff" in the same breath as Trudeau or JFK. Instead, he's being compared to Stephane Dion - and what's worse, he is coming up wanting:
“Stephane Dion may be gone from a leadership role, but his legacy of hysterical threats followed by ignoble climbdowns lives on, affecting our perception of his successor. This government is terrible, it is horrible, it is an abomination unto God himself – and we are totally going to do something about it, eventually, somewhere down the road, maybe spring-ish. But now we dance!” – Scott Feschuck, Maclean’s blog, June 16, 2009
“Dion’s problem was that he had a vision; he just couldn’t find the right words to sell it. Ignatieff has managed to flip things around; time after time, he articulately ties himself into knots trying to get around the fact that he has very little to say.” – Adam Radwanski, GlobeandMail.com, June 15, 2009