Today is day 1 of Liberal For Life's Special Report: Bloggers on the Leadership. Most bloggers who've endorsed a candidate can say anything they want about their chosen one anytime they want, but few if any have an oppurtunity to speak out about them in an interview type format and perhaps be asked questions they wouldn't have thought of mentioning on their blogs. That is the purpose of this exercise.
We start off with The Dan Report and Gerard Kennedy.
1. Why did you choose to endorse Gerard Kennedy?
The number one reason for me was that Gerard has always been dedicated to helping those most in need of a hand. And since I'm not a silly idealist I was also very impressed that Gerard has gotten the job done everytime he has taken up a task.
2. In your view, what are the top three issues that face our country and how do you see Gerard Kennedy handling them?
Well I think Education should be the number one priority for any country and it's pretty obvious that Gerard is the most fit of the group to work on this issue. I've heard many people say that Gerard "speaks teacher". Gerard probably doesn't have the expertise of some of the other candidates on environment but if Gerard were to make promises you can count on him to achieve those goals or to die trying. Well we know Gerard's position on Afghanistan, and I agree. If we're not winning we have to figure out how we can. I'm not interested in giving away Canadian lives to keep a "moral promise" or whatever Iggy called it. I think we have to cut off the NDP here. Remember that Pierre Trudeau was seen as scary isolationist when he first became Prime Minister.
3. What do you think Gerard Kennedy's greatest strength would be in an election matchup against Stephen Harper?
4. What do you think Kennedy's greatest weakness would be in an election matchup against Stephen Harper?
His inexperience in leading a party in an election.
5. If Kennedy couldn't win, who would you prefer he/she throw their support behind and why?
I've flip-flopped between Rae, Iggy and Dion but right now I'm siding with Dion. I'm just not comfortable with Iggy's foreign policy and I was quite upset with Rae's massive flip flop on Quebec and the constitution. The auditor general's report on environment spending might once again throw my second choice in the air. I haven't made up my mind yet.
6. If Kennedy couldn't win, who would you prefer he/she NOT throw their support behind and why?
I'd have to say Dion again. But that's not my final answer and that's assuming Dion would be able to finish in front of Kennedy anyways.
7. If you were Kennedy's leadership campaign manager, how would you run their campaign?
I trust that the campaign managers are a little smarter and experienced than me. But I would have tried harder to find a way to fight perceptions. They haven't done enough for example to counter the idea that Gerard can't win which some in the media parrot because of ridiculous/untrue polling numbers. A little more focus on the air war. But they may be trying to stay under the radar, out of the way of all the flying mud.
8. Tell us something about Kennedy you think most people don't know.
Preston Manning once asked Kennedy to join the Reform Party. He obviously decided against it.
9. Next to Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, which cabinet position do you feel Kennedy would excel at?
Good question. Jonathan Ross of TDH Strategies suggested, wishfully perhaps, that Kennedy would be a good Finance Minister under Ignatieff. But I could also see him doing great things in Aboriginal Affairs, Environment, or even perhaps Canada's first Education Minister.
10. If Kennedy were pitted in a three way 57 round battle royale against Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien who would win?
He'd beat Martin, but it's going to take a little bit more experience to beat a guy that won 3 straight majorities. Mad respect for Chretien!
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