I am sure over the next few weeks there will be a lot of talk about Claudette so I won’t dwell on it except to say a few things.
As the only Federal cabinet minister from Moncton since the 1910s, I think she did a fairly good job. The last guy, named Emmerson, fought to keep the CN Shops here and that rooted the Moncton economy for 75 years. Quite a legacy for Claudette to follow. But her support of the airport will be remembered as well as a few other things. But most of all, she will be known, at least by me, as having the uncanny ability to connect with voters of all socioeconomic stripes – almost an Elsie Wayne quality. I have no doubt that Claudette would win that seat in perpetuity. I also have no doubt that Premier Lord would never run against her in a Federal race – never – now he won’t get the chance.
So, despite the fact, that I am the only person in Moncton never to be hugged by Claudette (despite many opportunities), I hold no grudge. I tip my hat to her for representing the soul of Moncton.
And I offer two potential career moves for her. One, editor of the Times & Transcript. Heck, I would support Gumby taking on that role. Second, provincial politics. I know that it is rare for a federal cabinet minister to slum to the level of a provincial MLA but I think she would be a welcome addition (and scare the Tories out of their shoes). She could run and win in multiple ridings within the GMA.
PS – I did get one of those Claudette hugs once – after coercion – someone told her I hadn’t been hugged yet.
PSS – Can anyone confirm the rumour that Claudette and the Queen were out having a smoke together? What a classic Claudette moment – even if it is just legend.