Credits: QMI Agency file photo
OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau will need to prove he's more than pizzazz and charm as he readies to launch his bid for the top Grit job.
Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's eldest son is widely expected to officially toss his hat into the leadership ring Tuesday, despite being publicly coquettish about his ambitions.
Trudeau is aware he's viewed as a political lightweight and has reportedly surrounded himself with a brain trust of serious policy advisors as he readies his campaign.
His candidacy comes with a hefty dose of buzz and hype - but there's a flip side to having Trudeau's name on the ballot.
"It's good news and it's bad news," says Liberal insider Warren Kinsella, arguing the contest could shape up into a coronation and whittle talent from the contest.
"It could be Justin in the form of Goliath and a whole bunch of Davids littering the landscape," he said.
Conservative sources also say a Liberal party led by Trudeau could mean good news for them next election, with rejuvenated Grits splitting the progressive vote. And Trudeau has a history of making a splash with controversial comments and outbursts.
Still, Kinsella sees in Trudeau the potential to help rebuild the party's shattered base in Quebec, and his ability to engage woman, youth and immigrants - voters who've abandoned the party in the past few elections.
There's currently only three candidates officially in the race - lawyer Deborah Coyne, Shane Geschiere and Jonathan Mousley.
A raft of Grit MPs are also considering a bid - among them Montreal MP Marc Garneau, New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc and Ottawa MP David McGuinty.
The new Liberal leader will be named April 14 in Ottawa.
10 things about Justin Trudeau
1 - Justin Trudeau has represented the Montreal riding of Papineau since 2008. He beat out Bloc Quebecois candidate Vivian Barbot in a narrow victory. He beat her again in 2011.
2- Trudeau's riding is a multicultural one that is both geographically the smallest in Canada and the one with the lowest average family income. In contrast, his father's old Mount Royal riding is among the wealthiest.
3 - Before entering politics, Trudeau spent several years as a high school teacher in Vancouver and continues to hold the youth portfolio with the federal Liberals and speak to students across the country.
4- In October 2000, then 27-years-old, Trudeau delivered the eulogy at his father Pierre Elliott Trudeau's funeral. It was widely viewed as the moment the young Trudeau landed in the national consciousness as a possible political force.
5 - He became an advocate for skiing and avalanche safety following his younger brother Michel's death in 1998, while on a skiing trip to British Columbia. He served for a while as a director with the Canadian Avalanche Foundation.
6 - A close childhood friend may soon become a close rival. Liberal New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc grew up with Trudeau and is expected to announce a leadership bid for party leadership.
7 - In March, Trudeau stepped into a different ring, taking on Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match. Trudeau won the bout when the senator ran out of gas in the third round. The victory in the ring ramped up speculation Trudeau could seek a successful leadership bid.
8 - An emotional eulogy made him a household name, but his mouth has also gotten him into trouble. Last December, he called Environment Minister Peter Kent "a piece of s---" in an outburst in question period. He apologized, claiming he'd lost his cool.
9 - In February, Trudeau again landed in hot water for telling a Quebec radio host: "Maybe I would consider wanting to make Quebec a separate country" if Canada stopped reflecting his values under the Conservative government. He later declared his undying love for Canada, brushing off accusations he was a separatist.
10 - The race will also be something of a family affair for Trudeau. One of the only other candidates officially in the race so far is Deborah Coyne, who had a daughter with Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Father-Son political dynasties:
Trudeau's not the only son of a Canadian politician who followed in his father's footsteps into government.
New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc is the son of Romeo LeBlanc, a former governor general and Liberal cabinet minister.
The father of former Reform Party Leader and MP Preston Manning, Ernest Manning, served as premier of Alberta, and was named to the Senate in 1970.
The sons of former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson Sr., Daniel and Pierre-Marc Johnson, both followed their father into Quebec politics and both served brief stints as premiers of that province.