Bob Rae deftly sidestepped a question on his interest in the Liberal Party leadership yesterday by saying his current government commitment forbids him to talk about partisan matters -- but left open the possibility of his interest.
After speaking to a Toronto business and academic audience about Iraq's nascent democracy and his vision of Canadian foreign-policy objectives, the former Ontario NDP premier was asked about persistent reports that he might be a leadership candidate.
He said his order-in-council appointment, to advise the previous Liberal government on what to do about the Air-India bombing after last year's failed prosecution, did not permit him to discuss partisan politics. Asked whether he was ruling out his candidacy, Mr. Rae replied, "That's all I can say."
He said he was waiting to hear whether the Conservative government would renew the appointment. An order-in-council is an administrative order by the cabinet, formally issued by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative. Mr. Rae said there was no set deadline for a completion of his work.
More than a decade has passed since the voters of Ontario ejected Bob Rae from office; memories of Rae days, long welfare lines and spending like drunken sailors will have faded, and he has reinvented himself as the very model of the fisc-con, soc-lib Liberal ideal.
Moreover, he seems to understand better than most Liberals the nature of the current clash between civilizations being waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. His famous farewell to the NDP over Israel shows just how far he has diverged from the current mainstream of his former party.
As the rest of the A-team leaves the field, it's opening for Bob Rae.
Source: Globe and Mail