Martha Hall Findlay's self-inflicted knockout punch - Macleans.ca

Martha Hall Findlay’s self-inflicted knockout punch

Martha Hall Findlay swings and misses

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Martha Hall Findlay apologized this weekend for suggesting Justin Trudeau’s financial situation made it more difficult for him to relate to the concerns of average Canadians.

There are some who believe that I overstepped a line in the Leadership debate yesterday. To Justin, his family and to those who were offended, I apologize. My comments were not meant to be personal, in the sense of being in any way a comment on Justin’s character – indeed, I have the greatest respect for Justin’s passion, enthusiasm and commitment…

When choosing a Leader, it is a person’s record of experience, substance and achievement that are important, regardless of the circumstances into which that person was born.

The idea of the “knockout punch” in political debates is more myth than reality, but this might count. Or at least it could count if you assume that Ms. Hall Findlay had much of a chance of winning before Saturday afternoon. If she did have a chance and if that moment eliminated that chance, it was probably one of history’s first self-inflicted knockout punches (even before Mr. Trudeau responded, the crowd was booing). And so maybe, actually, it was just a plain old gaffe.

(I think I disagree with Alice Funke’s description of the attempted attack as “career-ending.” It’s hard to imagine Ms. Hall Findlay was going to become Liberal leader, but it’s also hard to imagine that this moment would, say, necessarily prevent her from ever again running in Willowdale as the Liberal candidate.)