A thoughtful farewell to Bob Rae.

This is not a form of eulogy. We will probably have Bob Rae to kick around for some time to come. He was never our favourite Premier of Ontario. He and his provincial treasurer were suckered by that so-and-so Tom d’Aquino from the Business Council and Bob’s administration went down and out the door because of it. Here we had the first socialist premier and he put the screws to the unions.

Bob left Ontario with ‘Rae Days’ and a sour taste for the New Democrats that maybe the party did not deserve. Mind you trying to work with his cabinet and some of their staff people was an exercise in dealing with incompetence and nastiness that was never warranted. They did not seem to know how to be civil or businesslike.

When Bob went out in the wilderness and came back as a Liberal, some of us were less than impressed. He was never a very good socialist and there was never any proof that he knew how to be a Liberal. When he ran for the leadership of the party, it confused the party as well as the electorate. If he had won, it might have been the death knell for the Liberal Party.

And now that the negatives are covered, we can mention the good stuff:

Bob turned out to be the best interim leader the Liberal Party had ever experienced. He pulled those prima donnas in the Liberal caucus together and did a better job than the Official Opposition. He had the Liberal MPs fighting well above their weight class. He actually showed that he knew how to lead. And he led by example. Nobody could have worked harder. Whether he could have carried that effort through an election campaign is something that we can only speculate on.

And he is still a first class stump speaker. He might have picked up some annoying mannerisms in his public speaking but they were nothing that could not be fixed if someone took time to work with him on them. He is insightful, organized and you certainly get your money’s worth when you come to hear him speak on just about any subject.

And, what surprises many people, Bob Rae is a darn nice guy. He is personable, friendly, concerned and exceedingly polite. We could all learn from him.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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