Don’t underestimate Bernie

The TJ is reporting that Bernard Lord will co-chair the Conservative national campaign expected to be called on Sunday.

A lot of folks including some journalists told me after Bernie’s defeat that he was dead in the water. A defeated Premier with no track record of any success and no real skills. They suggested he would be put out to pasture running some small federal agency. After all, he was a national darling after his 2003 speech in Calgary but then became the national poster boy for the Equalization fight – asserting his ‘Constitutional Right’ to more Equalization in the national media on many occasions. One would assume that didn’t endear him to Harper’s gang.

But here we are. He ran the language commission and now will try to bolster the Tories in Atl. Canada as the co-chair of the national campaign.

You know I didn’t like Bernie’s economic development policy, his spending and big government tendencies and his infernal dithering but I did say all along and will say again that he is a charismatic guy. He’s is fluent in both languages and can make a good stump speech. He can grasp and summarize some pretty complex policy issues (I have see this). But he wasn’t much of a leader – in the sense of creating and imparting vision, making sometimes tough decisions (in a timely fashion) and, of course, taking any serious interest in the economic development of the province.

I know that he was hampered by the lack of quality in the Cabinet – this has been widely discussed – school bus drivers, tupperware salespersons, etc. but nevertheless the buck stops with the Premier.

But I wish him well. New Brunswick needs more influence at higher levels. That specific influence hasn’t gotten us much yet but maybe down the road it will.

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0 Responses to Don’t underestimate Bernie

  1. nbt says:

    I know that he was hampered by the lack of quality in the Cabinet – this has been widely discussed – school bus drivers, tupperware salespersons, etc. but nevertheless the buck stops with the Premier.

    I don’t mean to be critical, but that statement is quite damning to those who work hard to make ends meet in a province with few economic opportunities. I come from a town where the former mayor was a Greco owner and the current one was unemployed and took the job to make ends meet.

    Many of my friends in Ontario and Calgary made fun of that fact because supposedly that’s the type of job (slinging donairs) that an immigrant would do (or so they said). But if they only knew how few and far between the opportunities are in the private sector here, they may not degrade those who work such menial jobs to make ends meet.

    Plus, they would realize that these are the people who are left to lead in a statist province that has been wrecked by too much government intervention and bureaucracy.

    But I’m sure the small, core group of ppl living off the government aren’t complaining. Nor is the central Canadian media who snicker at our bad fortunes.

    Maybe they should be more in this place and take time to see what is truly happening on the ground here in good ol’ statist NB.

  2. richard says:

    “A defeated Premier with no track record of any success and no real skills”

    Perhaps he should take out US citizenship and run for the Presidency. Those are exactly the qualities that seem to do well down there. But I expect he is keeping his powder dry for a run at heading the Tories once the party starts to tire of Harper.
    Which might happen sooner than one thinks, if no majority appears.

  3. David Campbell says:

    I don’t mean to be critical of hardworking folks. I just mean that the provincial Cabinet should include folks that have certain life experiences. They are asked to oversee a $6 billion budget and have wisdom and maturity to make critical investments in the province’s future.

  4. nbt says:

    Putting it that way, I agree. Btw Richard, don’t tell David that being a community organizer has been linked to “having no real skills”. lol

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bernie is sticking his neck out a bit here. I’m sure he is doing this for his political future, but what if Harper loses? That’s 2 losses for Bernie.

    In politics, do you get 3 strikes, or is it 2 and you’re out?