Liberal leadership: a few notes

Andrew Steele says Gerard Kennedy is thinking of running again. That matches what I’ve heard, including the lack of certainty: he’s not out, but he’s not all the way in yet.

And on that note, a few notes about how this corner will handle YALLR, or Yet Another Liberal Leaderhip Race.

First: I won’t follow every single permutation, endorsement, rumour and gaffe with breathless excitement, although I believe I will probably follow some permutations, endorsements, rumours and gaffes with breathless excitement, the flesh being, as it is, weak. The Liberals are getting a bit repetitive with these leadership intrigues, and especially between now and Christmas I hope to mostly leave them to their own devices.

Second: You should know that, of all the likely candidates, I see none who would qualify as an early Inkless favourite, nor any who Must Be Stopped. Michael Ignatieff, who sometimes qualified in the latter category last time for his intemperate and simply weird positions on a bunch of issues, has earned the right to a fresh look.

Third: One thing that will make me hesitant to write much about this new leadership round is the royal pain that so many supporters of so many candidates were, last time. I wish, but don’t dare hope, that the tinfoil-hat brigades who line up behind every candidate in a leadership race would take a Calm-Down Pill when reading the coverage and commentary that lies ahead, not just from me but from everyone.

Folks: If somebody prints news that is unflattering to your candidate, this is not Proof of a Vendetta. If somebody says another candidate made a good show at the last debate, it is not Proof They’re In The Tank. The Toronto Star is not campaigning for Rae, or LeBlanc, or whoever. Maclean’s has no corporate preference for any candidate, but neither will we feel the slightest obligation to cover boring candidates as thoroughly as interesting ones. We gave Ignatieff a lot of space in the magazine last time. I’m not sure it helped, quite the contrary. But Ignatieff, at least, had things to say, and led the field from the start. That’s the sort of thing that will drive coverage decisions.

And that’s all I have to say for a while.

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