The Lord is my co-pilot


La Presse reports that Bernard Lord will be named national co-chairman of the Conservative campaign on Friday. The other co-chair will be even more surprising, but I’m sworn to secrecy. The posts seem even more ceremonial this year than they did when John Reynolds and Democratic Elected Senator-To-Be Michael Fortier held the positions.


The Lord is my co-pilot

  1. I’d agree with the first tag.

  2. Gordon Campbell?

  3. Not that surprising.

  4. Good night, folks. Most readers will already know the news by the time they see this.

  5. Ezra Levant?

  6. The Globe is saying David Emerson, which would be funny…Liberal cabinet minister one election, Tory national co-chairman the next.

  7. Gwyn Morgan?

  8. Gotta be Wayne.

  9. Dick Cheney? Or, in keeping with the Republican convention, Pamela Anderson?

  10. I really liked Bernard Lord when he was Premier of NB. Seeing him on the political shows spewing out Tory talking points breaks my heart. I thought he was a bit above that.. a little more “think for himself”. I guess not.

  11. Belinda Stronach?

  12. Monte Solberg?…he said he’d still very very involved with the campaign.

  13. “The other co-chair will be even more surprising, but I’m sworn to secrecy.”

    Whenever I read something like this from a reporter it makes me wonder how many other things media folk are keeping from us because they were asked nicely not to reveal something. Since when did it become s reporter’s job to keep secrets from the public instead of reporting?

  14. Prince Harry’s visit to Iraq comes to mind. That’s why we have bloggers.

  15. Ezra LeRant has announced he’s leaving his blogging for a while – you know his monotonous, only thing he has to do right now – freedom of speech obsession………..

    So, probably LeRant. Ewww….

  16. Sandi – That would be, if possible, even more ridiculous than appointing David Emerson to the Senate so he could stay in cabinet. Which isn’t to say that it won’t turn out to be the case, of course.

  17. I still remember Ezra saying back when Day was the leader of the Canadian Alliance saying he was, and I quote a “Stockaholic”.

  18. It’s been reported in a few places that Emerson will be other co-chair which is kind of surprising and implies that FOR SURE it’s a ceremonial position.

  19. Yes; sadly, my hopes of an Ezrarific campaign were tragically cut short by CTV News confirming that it would, in fact, be Emerson. Sigh. That was going to be so much *fun*. You and Paul are probably both right that this means the co-chairs will be even more figurehead-y than last time, but Emerson *is* pretty good at actually doing stuff – like, say, being a cabinet minister – even if he is politically tone deaf.

  20. jwl, there are legitimate cases where a reporter can’t immediately talk about what they know. Sometimes the information is under embargo, where they give the info to the media before the public announcement, so the reporters have some time to do some background reading and so forth. Happens all the time with the budget.

  21. Oh good, Emerson was never really a Liberal. He was just doing a favour for Paul Martin.

  22. Good. I actually think Ezra will run in Monte Solberg’s riding.

  23. Who knows, maybe the whole Emerson thing is a blind. I’ll toss in a flyer: introducing co-chair John Manley. He and Harp share a love of all things US and Federal, strident if folly-ridden militarism, a desire to abolish the Senate and a preference for Executive leadership, rather than rule based on the consent of Parliament (ya know, the people’s representatives). I seem to recall that Conservative used to mean “averse to radical change and respect for the traditions, customs and institutions of society.” I suppose all of that went out of fashion with things like honoring commitments (Peter MacKay) or respecting the electorate (Emerson, Fortier). Oh well, wake me when the nightmare’s over and we have to figure out how to pay off a few hundred billion in deficits and claw back some of our dignity.

  24. It strikes me that Graham Richardson introduced Marjorie Lebreton last evening on MDL as one of the campaign co-chairs along with David Emerson and Bernard Lord. I believe Marjorie nodded in agreement.

  25. Alan

    I agree there are a few extreme cases where it’s acceptable, Steve W’s example is a good one, for reporters to keep secrets but this if far from being one of them. I actually think Wells is pretty good at not getting to caught up in all this kind of nonsense but many others aren’t.

    We have Kady on another thread expressing admiration that her mates in the media are being played by political operatives and it shocks me how chummy reporters and political class are.

    It’s like our pols can do/say anything they want because they know reporters have their backs. Media’s job is to be adversarial and not be gatekeepers keeping public away from things that we should actually know about.

    Why is it thought appropriate that Wells should know something but the rest of us shouldn’t?

  26. jwl check out Guido Fawkes for some amusing rants about the relationship between the media and political class. At least in the UK, free and/or heavily subsidized booze is the tie that binds.

    Surely the respectable Canadian establishment wouldn’t carry a tradition like that into the pure heart of Ottawa.

  27. That was grudging admiration, jwl. Grudging! I’m always much more delighted when we manage to see through transparent attempts at manipulation, and turn the tables on the spinners, but it’s not against the rules to show the occasional bit of appreciation for a worthy adversary.

    In this case, though, we’re talking about waiting less than — well, it hasn’t officially been announced yet, but it’s on CTV, so let’s be generous and say just over 12 hours — before spilling a tidbit of news that, really, is not all that earthshaking. I’m pretty sure his journalistic integrity is still intact.

  28. I figure if you’re a reporter and somebody asks you to keep a secret, if you let it out that person isn’t going to be talking to you again. And if you do it enough, you probably get a reputation as somebody who should not be told things. So you have to do a cost benefit analysis of revealing what you agreed to keep under your hat. In this case, i can’t say I blame Wells.

  29. By the time jwl read the post and got all bothered, the state secret in question had already been public knowledge for several hours. The gap between my original post and the first right “guess” by somebody who’d read the Authorized Leaked Version in the Globe was 89 minutes. I hope jwl can pick up the pieces of his shattered life and move on.

  30. Steve W

    I love quido fawkes and he was one of the people I had in mind when thinking about how our media has corrupted itself. I often wish our media was more like UK’s because they are much more adversarial, they don’t pretend to be neutral when they really aren’t.

    Mike T

    The media is letting itself be rolled by our pols because they care more about being clubbable than adversarial. It’s all very incestuous and it shouldn’t be.

    Pols would still talk to the media, have you ever heard of a politician who didn’t want to be in the newspapers? Pols are puffed up panjandrums of the worst sort and there’s no way they would stop promoting themselves.

    Kady You know perfectly well what the political operatives are doing but yet you are expressing admiration at your colleagues being sheep, grudging or otherwise.

    I agree the Emerson announcement was fairly insignificant, so why keep it secret? Why does the media allow itself to played?

  31. Baaaaaa.

  32. Paul

    I know it doesn’t seem like it but you and Coyne are my favourite Canadian political writers, by far. You two like to stir things up a bit and that’s admirable, I just wish there was more like you.

  33. jwl – It sounds like what you are looking for is the media to say what you believe to be true.

    You want the media to be an advisary to politicans, but if the media runs stories outlining Conservative blunders you accuse them of Liberal bias.

    If media runs stories of Conservative blunders Harper will stop speaking to any media that hold him to account.

    I never saw anything in the Post critizing Harper’s unwillingness to speak to most of the media (the Post still enjoys invites to secret news conferences and plenty of ‘leaks’). Funny how things work.

    Media is in the business… of making money. They hire journalists and columnists that make them money, gain them market share, fill niches, etc.

    If you don’t like the slight-right(tm) Maclean’s, the Post would love your comments I am sure.

    I think what you also struggle to accept/understand is that most Canadians are centre-left. Harper understands that. That is why he has been moving his party towards the centre, applying the muzzle to his MPs and not talking to media that would dare hold him to account.

    Britain does have some great papers. Most of them aren’t worth the paper free dailies are printed on, however.

  34. Again and again, I feel like I should guard against the interpretation that ideology is everything. I didn’t read jwl to be worried that I was being mean to the Conservatives, Dije. If anything he was worried that I’m letting them “play” me because who knows who’ll play me next.

    For what it’s worth, the Emerson thing came up at a dinner party, where politics was far from being the main focus of discussion, and I didn’t want to embarrass the person who coughed up this tidbit.

  35. I saw Levant’s “the madman is OUT” sign on his blog and wondered the same thing: a Levant candidacy? The great return from exile? Any word on this? Having him in the House would be a lot more fun, Kady, even than having him as a campaign co-chair. For you and for us all. You might have to hire an ITQ intern.

  36. Do you know who the surprise Liberal candidate in Trinity Spadina will be? That could potentially more interesting. My guess is Robert Pritchard.

    As for Emerson, it might have been nice to have a minister or two in Ottawa running the government during the election.

  37. Dije

    I am a ‘don’t tread on me’ libertarian, I see little difference between Harper and a right wing Liberal at the moment, so I am well aware that I live in a centre-left country.

    I am ranting because I think many in the media have lost sight of what their role is and who they are supposed to be serving.


    I have longed wondered if the size of Ottawa is to blame for media and pols being so close.

    Your explanation is entirely understandable but I wonder if there were millions of people in our capital, and there were bigger more diverse social scenes, if the media would be more prickly towards our public servants.

  38. Surprise candidate in Trinity Spadina? I recall meeting the liberal candidate for that riding in June though his name escapes me. Did he drop out or was he dropped? What’s the deal Jason?

  39. We have media? I thought they were all “headlines” to fool us administrators. Or, all jump in together to do some real reporting – ah, say, like hmmmm. Oh, like little gang members, pick on the weakest kid – brave isn’t it?

    They did it to Harper – now it’s Dion. Integrity journalism, the voice of the people – time we got some.

  40. pick on the weakest kid – brave isn’t it?

    The media go where the story is. A major political party having a weak leader, and documenting his stumbly weakness seems like a story to me. I’m sure if Harper gaffes the media will be all over him too.

  41. If the CPC wins this elction,I hope Harper puts Emmerson in the senate(like he did wih fortier) and lets him stay on as FA minster.

    To many canges in that postion IMHO.

    And frankly I think Emmerson is great, it is more about country then party for him.


    Does Emmerson and Harper get along well? Looking at Emmerson backgroud, they seem like they would get along well.

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