Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Campaign Management

The Tories are gearing up for a late June election (the momentum on all sides makes one inevitable, whether anyone wants it or not) and it looks like the same guy will be managing it again:

Per the Globe and Mail:

Sources said yesterday that the Tories have begun appointing staff for the campaign. University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan will again manage the effort, while Doug Finley, a veteran of the previous campaign, will run the communications war room. Others are being slotted into the effort as well.

Tom Flanagan is a brilliant policy thinker; he practically wrote Reform/Alliance policy singlehandedly. But he's never struck me as a particularly great campaign manager. The academic style doesn't translate well into a campaign where decisions have to be made at times unilaterally in a split-second based on gut feeling.

Flanagan advised Harper to coast during the last week of the last election, when the wheels came off the bus, while Martin was scaring Ontario with threats of "the hidden agenda."

Harper's been loyal to his academic patrons, without whom he would not be where he is today, but it's time to take advantage of the new talent that came in with the merger.

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