The last time his idle musings on politics made it on the national news cycle, it didn’t go well for Ian Brodie, whose now infamous off-the-record chat with journalists about then-Democratic nominees Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton sparked the so-called NAFTAGate scandal, and led to questions about whether the Conservatives were trying to game the US election in favour of the Republicans.
This time around, Brodie seems to be staying on safer ground, as far as his subject matter goes. Today’s Toronto Star reports on a speech to political scientists at this week’s humanities conference in Ottawa, during which the PM’s former right hand man dismissed the notion that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will be able to persuade voters that his party can be trusted to manage the economy. “The idea that the Liberal party has a brand as a fiscally responsible organization – I never once saw a single piece of market-research evidence to support that. Never,” Brodie told the assembled academics. According to Brodie, the Liberals “consistently rank last” when it comes to fiscal responsibility — despite the deficit-slaying record of former prime ministers Chretien and Martin. “There you go,” he concluded.