Lean and mien - Macleans.ca

Lean and mien


These are, as everyone knows, times of crisis. Times that call for boldness, vision, and determined determination. Above all, these times demand decisive leadership from leaders who can make decisions, when they have to make them. Fortunately, the new Liberal leader has the decisive thing down cold. Just listen to this unsolicited testimony from an impartial source:

Few believe Ignatieff will make the mistakes of his failed leadership bid in 2006, the misstatements, made worse by explanation. His latest bid was masterful. One supporter enthuses he beat “the Wayne Gretzky of politics” (Bob Rae) after only two years in Parliament.

He’s smart about other things. Liberal powerhouse Senator David Smith describes a June 2005 get-acquainted dinner he had at Il Posto in Yorkville with Ignatieff and his wife, Zsuzsanna Zsohar. (He has two adult children by a previous marriage.) Ignatieff would soon return to Canada as visiting professor at the University of Toronto and potential politician. Later, as they strolled, Ignatieff raved about Yorkville, Toronto’s trendiest enclave. Smith told Ignatieff about condos available next to what he thought would be the Four Seasons residence and, five days later, Ignatieff was ready to buy.

“That is a decisive man,” said Smith…


THERE’S MORE in that unintentially hilarious vein in Diebel’s weekender. Sample:

MIEN: Patrician, with good bones and a hawk-like stare under bushy eyebrows. He’s lanky, athletic, not far removed from captain of Upper Canada College’s soccer team.

Why do journalists always feel compelled to describe a male politician’s appearance? They’d never do that to a woman…

Then there’s this:

“This doesn’t look like a master strategist to me, Mike,” Ignatieff mocked to CTV’s Mike Duffy last week. He spit out his put-down of the PM’s recent moves with sarcasm worthy of, well, Harper.

“Yes!” said Ignatieff Liberals. No more having to shove feelings of inadequacy into their shoes as Dion was belittled. The Harper machine, they believe, won’t dare try to smear Ignatieff as it did Dion.

Ignatieff glared into the camera last week and, with a half-smirk, essentially dared Harper to try. His Liberals feel good to have their kind of leader back – the natural governing kind – who’s not afraid to utter such declarations as: “Let that be clear!”

Maybe he’s not afraid; personally, I’m terrified.

Finally, lest anyone think Diebel puffs in only one direction, she provides some thoughtful balance:

Then again, is Harper to be underestimated? Savvy GTA Conservative Paul Godfrey thinks Harper would lick his lips at that.

“He’s totally in control of his government. He’s the boss,” says Godfrey, Blue Jays president/CEO and soon to be National Post president, who likes watching baseball games with the PM. “I’ve grown to be a huge fan of Stephen Harper … it may have cost him, but he won’t pander and I respect that.”

Memo to Paul: Stay on message. “Won’t pander” is Old Steve. New Steve is sensitive to the needs of all stakeholders.


Lean and mien

  1. Why do journalists always feel compelled to describe a male politician’s appearance?
    They’d never do that to a woman

  2. Bob Rae is the Wayne Gretzky of politics????? When is he moving to Phoenix?

  3. “Bob Rae is the Wayne Gretzky of politics?????”

    Bob Rae is more like the Jean Perron of hockey, leading his team to one fluke championship after the favorites to win imploded.

  4. errr.. Jean Perron of politics.

  5. truemuse: Clearly, Coyne was being facetious.

    As soon as I read his line, I made a bet with myself that at least one of the four comments would be from someone who didn’t get the joke.

  6. Sorry about going completely off topic. Does anyone know what the ramifications of Robert Fowler’s disappearance are to Canada’s national security?

  7. It seems to me that while journalists are (too) likely to talk about a female politician’s clothing, they are unlikely to talk about her physical appearance (at least not directly).

    See y’all next time there’s something important and relevant to discuss.

  8. “It’s not the clothes that make the man; it’s how he wears them.” And some do nothing but wear them out!

  9. Personally, Mr.Ignatieff’s eyebrows don’t do it for me. But it’s that smile. There is something strange about that smile.

  10. I wanted to elaborate on the strange smile. See, watch Mr.Igantieff’s first press conference after he had been crowned party leader, and then compare that smile to other smiles he sports. Can anyone notice the difference, because I thought I could.

  11. Francien,

    That’s not a smile, it’s an evil grin. Ignatieff is the Liberals’ Krampus to Harper, the Conservatives’

  12. Then again, I’d put Linda Diebel’s record as a reporter up against Andrew Coyne’s record as an opiner any day. Ya can look it up.

  13. I think this article illustrates that not everyone is happy with Iggy within the Lib party. Iggy must be considered pretty right wing if he can’t get a decent endorsement from TorStar.

    I like how Diebel writes that he has shown ‘a lack of independent thought.’ but a couple of paragraphs later writes that “he’s smart about other things”, like being decisive when it comes to buying a home, has a nice salon at his home in Southern France and he likes opera.

    The Libs must have sunk pretty low if they get excited by his ‘tough talk’ even though he gives the impression he couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag.

  14. Diebel has a nice modest proposal on her blog this morning that Mr. Coyne might empathize with.