Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Media Falling for Tory Trick

The architects of the latest Conservative anti-Rae attack ad must be exchanging high-fives.

After all, their devious plan is working to perfection – Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae is getting tons of good ink.

This is great news for the Conservatives because, as I recently noted, the Tory attack ad was not meant to hurt Rae but to help him.

To sum it up: Any Conservative attack on Rae from the right, will undoubtedly rally leftist voters to his defence. This would in turn undermine the NDP.

It’s an old political trick.

So the Conservatives must be pleased to see the media help their cause.

The Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson, for instance, wrote the Tories are attacking Rae because they are afraid.

As he put it, “The Conservatives are convinced Mr. Rae will lead the Liberal Party into the next election–an increasingly safe assumption. And they fear him more than they fear whomever the New Democrats choose on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Sun's Barbara Yaffe writes:

Rae is a guy with an enviable CV: a law degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD from Oxford in England. He’s a Rhodes Scholar, an officer of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, a past chair of the Royal Conservatory and the Toronto Symphony. He has a suitably folksy side as well, with a website labelling him “a family man, author and fisherman.”
By contrast, Harper, with a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Calgary, has more pedestrian credentials.

And if columnists are thinking this way, it's probable many rank and file Liberals are thinking that way too: If Harper is attacking Rae, he must fear Rae, ergo we should support Rae.

The Tories must have known it would play out this way -- in fact, they were counting on it.

They certainly didn't run the ad because they feared Rae; indeed the very notion is ludicrous. It's like suggesting Hulk Hogan is afraid of Woody Allen.

What’s to fear? I hate to be blunt, but Rae is a past-his-prime politician who leads a third place, cash-starved, intellectually-bankrupt, down-in-the polls political party that lacks a regional base.

Yeah, I’m sure Harper is just shaking in his boots.

And does anybody seriously believe Rae’s academic credentials make him a threat to Harper? If that was the case Harvard-educated Michael Ignatieff would have won in a landslide.

If anything, it's more likely Harper and the Tories would dearly love to see Rae stay as Liberal leader.

And so when Ibbitson and Yaffe and other writers praise Rae to the high heavens, it’s music to Tory ears.

1 comment:

Gordie Canuk said...

Not just the media Jerry...when I saw news about the campaign I said...WTF!!! I hadn't even considered the old adage of a house divided, or perhaps...keeping the opposition equally divided.

Thanks for being a reasonable and intelligent voice in the normally 'rah rah go dear leader' conservative universe.