Interesting piece in the Globe. There is no doubt but that LeBlanc is an impressive speaker and would make a solid Leader. But he is young -- now that might be an advantage, Harper isn't exactly aged and Harper was young when he took over his Party. My sense, though, is that this is not the time for LeBlanc but he will have a real shot at being the next Leader and, one day, Prime Minister.
Will young LeBlanc be the Liberals' kingmaker?
From Monday's Globe and Mail
At a cigar dinner the other night, Dominic LeBlanc, the third force in the Liberal leadership race, was working his way through the smoke-filled room, talking up his candidacy.
"You're the kingmaker," someone said to him. "You could determine the outcome."
The 40-year-old Mr. LeBlanc, a couple of decades younger than the others in the race, liked hearing that. For an unheralded candidate, he's off to a good start. He has an impressive base of support in the Maritimes; will attract many younger delegates; has strong ties, being an Acadian, to francophones; and is building up support in British Columbia.
A first-ballot haul of 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the delegates is well possible. From there, he could navigate the outcome, choosing to move to Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff on the second ballot.
"He's Bob Rae's big hope," offered another dinner participant, peering through the Cuban clouds left by the foot-long stogies. "He's a stalking horse for Bob."
You like that equestrian analogy, Mr. LeBlanc was asked.
"Stalking horse?" he said. "Bleep you!"
He wants, quite naturally, to counter that image, to be seen as his own steed. He has to keep alive the idea that he can pull off a miracle, get in position to win himself. And the Rae campaign, off to an iffy start, is not exactly one you want to identify with at this time.
But it will be difficult, as things move along, for Mr. LeBlanc to ward off the perception. He comes out of the Chrétien wing of the party. He represents the New Brunswick riding of Beauséjour that Jean Chrétien once represented himself. Mr. Chrétien appointed his father, Roméo LeBlanc, governor-general. The Chrétien circle is behind Bob Rae, whose brother John was Mr. Chrétien's campaign manager.
Story here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081121.wcomartin24/BNStory/politics/home