A debutante ball for John Baird?

It is difficult to explain what kind of an event this will be. It has always been evident that John Baird wanted to make some kind of a statement in his lifetime. Nobody really believed it was his final act when he left the Harper cabinet. He always seemed to want to do more. He has seemed to be struggling ever since to make a statement.

It all made sense when he agreed to do the West Block show on Global Television on Sunday. If he is not studying the field for a run at the conservative leadership, why was he there? He knew all the right moves and he made them. Like a debutante, he is responding to the calling.

Look at his friend Jason Kenney. Kenney went west and found a calling. He is now the much-quoted premier of Alberta—the thorn in Justin Trudeau’s backside.

I always wrote of Jason Kenney and John Baird as Stephen Harper’s Bobbsey Twins. Those two just belonged on the same page. At the time, they were two 40-something bachelors who had made politics their careers. They both know how to manipulate that mean streak that runs through Canada’s conservative party to-day.

What impressed me most is that John Baird did not go after Trudeau’s new foreign affairs minister, François-Philippe Champagne. He said that he felt the Trudeau minister was doing a good job in John’s old portfolio and there was no need to criticize him for his handling of a difficult task, at a difficult time.

And that might be the tone that the conservatives across Canada are looking for in their next leader. They appear tired of the constant attack mode of their party at both the federal and provincial levels.

Even Jason Kenney has changed his tone a bit lately. It might be that the prime minister has been keeping his deputy, Chrystia Freeland, between them. Anything that can ward off the constant attacks from the west is helpful.

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