Interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae speaks to the media at the Liberal Party convention in Ottawa January 12, 2012.
There is an excellent chance that nobody cares, but -- for fun, if nothing else -- let's handicap the rumoured candidates for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, shall we?
I know, I know. They're in a distant third place, and have been for a year. You need a magnifying glass to locate their caucus in the House of Commons. Even against a dud like interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel, they couldn't improve their circumstances. Why, you not unreasonably ask, should anyone care about the Grits anymore?
Well, because politics is unpredictable, that's why. Weird things happen.
Everyone (except Your Humble Narrator, naturally) thought Wildrose would form a big, honkin' majority government in Alberta, and they didn't.
Everyone (except, er, me) didn't foresee Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty climbing back from a double-digit polling deficit to win big last fall. Everyone (except, um, you know who) failed to prognosticate the NDP becoming Her Majesty's official opposition in last year's general election.
And so on, and so on. Every pundit and pollster else gets it wrong, all the time. Immodestly, I think you folks should listen only to ME. Herewith, my Grit Hit List:
Justin Trudeau: Keeps saying he doesn't want to run for the Lib top job, and Libs keep not listening to him. Good with the fisticuffs, but still has a thing or two to learn before getting into the ring with Stephen Harper. Needs lots more training. Not ready.
Marc Garneau: The only MP with his or her name on the side of a school and who isn't dead. Has mused about interest in the top job on Twitter, which is strong evidence of a candidate who isn't serious, let alone a candidate. Possible Con attack ad, if he does run: "Marc Garneau. He didn't just leave Canada -- he left Earth!"
Martha Hall Findlay: Toronto-area MP who was defeated in the 2011 election, which should disqualify her. (To wit, if you can't hold your seat, why do you think you can retake Canada?) But she'll run anyway. She can't help herself.
Gerard Kennedy: Another Toronto-area MP who was beaten in 2011. Same rules applies: If you can't win your home base, you can't win the country. Great hair, however.
David McGuinty: Brother of Ontario's premier. Would have the Ontario Liberal machine behind him. Fluently bilingual, a pitbull. But jury's out on whether he actually wants the job, and what sane person can blame him?
Denis Coderre: The best-known Liberal MP in Quebec, which -- if the Grits are to ever win again -- is one crucial piece of political real estate. Would shred angry Tom Mulcair in a Frenchlanguage debate. Problem: Nobody watches Tout le monde en parle in TROC.
Bob Rae: Has been running for the leadership from the very minute he promised he wouldn't. A tourist in the Liberal Party, with steamer trunks of unhelpful baggage from his tenure as Ontario's NDP premier. Smart, bilingual, but unable to best Turmel (see above). Almost certain to win because despairing Liberals think there's nobody else who can do the job. (They're wrong.)
Clip and save it and tape it to the fridge door, folks. That's the Liberal future, no ifs, ands or buts.