Friday, July 16, 2010


This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

As a former political press secretary, I can tell you: this is the stuff that makes your blood run cold. Once, in the middle of an actual election campaign, I had to explain to the traveling press corps the utter absence of the boss’s bus for the first leg of one particular road day, after an overnight mechanical incident while in the hands of well-intentioned minders the night before. Good times. So I felt for federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his “Liberal Express” road crew this week, when on day one – DAY ONE – of his man-of-the-people tour, his bus went ka-blooey and broke down en route to an event. Stuff happens, especially on the road, and we at TD&F are always careful to put that stuff aside and instead look not to the incident itself, but to the communications thereof: and it’s a Touchdown for Iggy. He did all one really can in such a less-than-perfect alignment of the stars, namely, he laughed it off. He said he knew the media would find every possible way to link the transmission problem to his broader image, but added “Sometimes a bump in the road is just a bump in the road. It’s not a metaphor for anything.” Then, he quickly bridged into noting that by getting into a bus and getting out there among the masses, he was doing exactly the kind of thing that his nemesis, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, generally doesn’t. A nice bit of what I like to call “communications judo” – using one’s opponent’s weight back against him.

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