Who said what: 15 thoughts on Justin Trudeau

What pundits and players are saying about the Liberal frontrunner

(Peter Bregg, Maclean's)

Here’s what pundits and players are saying about Justin Trudeau’s performance on Saturday:

Althia Raj, the Huffington Post
“His speech was strongly delivered, showed he can attack his opponents and successfully defuse some of the criticism against him. He showed just how much better a politician he is compared to his opponents, but he still injected some of the corniness and over-performance he is known for.”

Tim Harper, the Toronto Star
“Were there any doubters remaining, Justin Trudeau showed Liberals, and any Canadians willing to surrender part of their Saturday afternoon, that he plays in a different league than his leadership challengers. The real question that is still unanswered is what league will a Trudeau-led third party be playing in by 2015?”

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John Ibbitson, the Globe and Mail
“If you were looking for more substance in Mr. Trudeau’s final address before voting begins to choose the new leader, you will have found none of it. Not even fuzzy promises to protect the economy without abandoning a social conscience. There were vague commitments to preserving both jobs and the planet, while healing regional words and re-engaging Quebec in the life of the nation. There were jibes at the “negative, divisive politics” of the Conservatives and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s decision “that if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. But mostly Justin was all about Justin.”

Jesse Kline, the National Post
“The challenge for Mr. Trudeau — and judging from the show of support at the convention and his showing in the polls, there’s no reason to believe Mr. Trudeau won’t win — will be to turn rhetoric about presenting a clear vision for Canada’s future and a credible alternative to the Conservatives and the NDP, into actual policy proposals and a campaign that can win the hearts and minds of Canadians.”

Colin Horgan, iPolitics
“By 5 p.m. Saturday it was very clear that if the Liberals are going to throw a hail-mary – that is, going to seriously attempt a full reboot of the party before 2015 to launch it out of third place in the standings – they’d better put the ball in Trudeau’s hands. It’s really just that simple. Anyone who says differently, unfortunately, is hoping for a kind of retooling of the party that isn’t rationally in the cards.”

CBC News
“After a long eight-month leadership campaign, Liberals are preparing to vote for one of the six candidates they think can best lead the party into the next general election in 2015 following a “national showcase” in Toronto Saturday. Montreal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau backed-up his perceived frontrunner status with a passionate plea for the party’s top job.”

Patrick Gossage, the Toronto Star
“In every sense Justin is a new, thoroughly modern Trudeau. Not bored by pressing the flesh, as his father was, but galvanized by meeting ordinary Canadians, the more the better. Not dragged to local political events like his dad, but the master of them, and the master of the rousing stump speech — without notes, and without a phalanx of speech writers.”

Martin Goldfarb, the Toronto Star
What is Justin Trudeau’s brand promise? We don’t know yet. And, as a result, we fundamentally don’t know him. Justin Trudeau should build on the legacy of his father, and add to the lustre of the Just Society. You can win with big, bold initiatives.

Tim Naumetz, the Hill Times
“A Liberal “minivention” of over 1,000 party members did what was intended on Saturday as Justin Trudeau drew the kind of media crushes and crowd adulation that has spooked the Conservative Party, but it also highlighted an unexpected force that Mr. Trudeau will likely be compelled to tackle once, as widely expected, he takes over the party’s helm when leadership election voting ends on April 14.”

Matthew Coutts, Canada Politics
“Trudeau’s speech was the emotional high point in a day-long showcase of Liberal leadership candidates vying to replace outgoing interim leader Bob Rae and bring the party back from near-irrelevance. It didn’t take long for Trudeau to mention his father, former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau. He neither reveled in his lineage nor hid from it. He didn’t hide from much, taking aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives party’s impending attack ads.”

And a few thoughts noted on Twitter:

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