I believe it means (here’s the “it”) that there’s a large country south of here where a guy with (a) a lovely wife from just outside Chicago and (b) talent might want to make some money. The last few budgets have done their part to fuel a brain drain of talented Canadians toward the United States; it is only fair that one of their architects follow suit. A very large number of Canadian political strategists, and pundits, would have done the same if they could.
In this book two young Republican strategists argue that the U.S. party should adopt strategies remarkably similar to the ones Muttart brought to the Conservative Party of Canada: poll-driven, tightly targeted to specific demographics, and activist, using the power of government to flatter the conservative base as liberal parties do for their own parties. Salam and Douthat’s view is hardly unanimously shared among Republicans, but it doesn’t have to be: U.S. parties are far less monolithic than the Liberal and Conservative parties have become here, and Muttart’s ideas will find a lot of clients in local races even if they aren’t embraced by the Republicans nationally.
That’s if Muttart even plans to remain a political consultant. I’m told people sometimes get out of politics, although I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it happen.
What does it mean for the Conservatives? Probably very little. This party is all about Stephen Harper. Worrying or triumphing over Muttart’s departure is like complaining about Guy Giorno, a little game this corner has probably indulged too much: it stops the buck on the wrong desk, to torture a Trumanism. The Conservative Party of Canada has precisely one strategic mind now, and all that happens to the party during the fascinating year ahead will be thanks to Harper. As indeed it always was.