I have never heard of Angelo Persichilli, but he is behind some rather fevered musings on the Lib leadership race in The Hill Times today. Specifically:
If you ask some Liberals whom, among the 11 candidates, is going to win the leadership campaign, the answer is now the twelfth, Frank McKenna.
But when you point out that he's not in the race, the said Liberals will explain to you that the time to register is not up and there's still the whole month of September open for him to make the move.
How likely is this? Persichilli outlines a whole conspiracy theory based on the word unnamed Liberal Strategists, which I do not find particularly convincing, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the current top-tier candidates are not that bad. Though the leadership race has been, lets face it, dull, it has always been thus. I mean, when Reform became C.R.A.P. became C.P.C., was anyone watching?
In any case, at this moment I would proudly get behind any of the "frontrunners" other than Iggy and Bob Rae. Dion, for example, has been quite impressive both speaking and substantively, and aspects of Kennedy's platform have been very good (his environmental initiatives), even if his televised performances have not.
Secondly, Harper's position is not that strong. This is something that has been reflected in the latest Decima Poll results, which show trouble for the Tories in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec. He's going to have a tough time getting his majority, or even keeping his minority, if an election is called in 2007.
Not that I have anything against Frank M. In fact, he probably would have been my first choice had he chosen to run. But for the time being I will assume that the line of theorizing in The Hill Times is just a summer story that will pass with the hot weather.
But who knows? Any other arguments for McKenna's jumping in or staying out?