Monday, December 26, 2005

Klander Slander

The Liberals are extremely lucky that their latest communications gaffe was exposed on Christmas Day, when nobody else was watching, because it makes Scott Reid's "beer and popcorn" quote look like harmless drollery in comparison. Paul Wells has the story:

Which blood vessels would Susan Murray and John Duffy be popping if they'd discovered a Conservative moron comparing an Asian-Canadian candidate to a dog?

Fortunately it wasn't a Conservative at all. And until just now I didn't think the guy in question was a moron. It was Mike Klander, a senior executive in the Liberal Party of Canada; Paul Martin's senior leadership organizer in Ontario; the muscle the Grits sent in to roll over Sheila Copps in Hamilton in '04; and riding-association president to Tony Ianno, who's running against Olivia Chow, whom Klander smears here.

(Klander immediately killed his entire blog, but the cache survives, as does the offending photo mosaic, screen-captured by an alert blogger. And what fun the Klander blog is! Note the top-ranked Liberal's touching concern over which fashion accessories make candidates "look gay" and his paradoxical observations that Stephen Harper "creeps people out" and Jack Layton "is a weasel" and "is an asshole." Oscar Wilde could hardly have done better. Oh, wait: didn't Oscar Wilde "look gay"?)

Stephen Taylor has a more complete analysis of Klander's rapier wit and astute political observations.

If the media awakes from its seasonal slumber and reports the story accurately and widely (big if, to be sure), it`will do serious damage to the Liberal Party's image among soft-left voters who could be tempted either way between the Grits and the NDP. Outright racial slurs against Jack Layton's wife will stir soft-left outrage like nothing else.

All the Liberals have to limit the fallout is timing. Will it be enough to make it blow over?

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