The Globe and Mail is reporting that former Foreign Minister and Ottawa MP John Baird, 46, is, indeed, considering offering himself for the CPC leadership.
“A Baird candidacy,” the Globe and Mail opines, “would significantly alter the competitive landscape for the helm of a party now in search of a compelling challenger to stand up to prime-minister-designate Justin Trudeau. As things stand, the presumed heir apparent is Jason Kenney, 47, a veteran of the Harper cabinet who is still deciding whether to run.”
Further, the Globe suggests that “Mr. Baird’s political philosophy is not readily distinguishable from Mr. Kenney’s; were both men to run, the choice for voters would come down to personality and perceived winnability rather than a change in direction [and] like Mr. Kenney, Mr. Baird could be described as a small-government conservative who is hawkish on security and defence.”
I am a bit of a John Baird fan, and, as I have said several times, on Army.ca, I am unconcerned about the private lives and proclivities of politicians as long as they are within the bounds of the law and (reasonably) good manners, but I also agree with those who think that we need to change the public “face” (image) of the CPC, to a less stern, unyielding and secretive one, and I wonder if a female leader might not be a better choice to face off against Justin Trudeau in 2019.
But, CBC News quotes Mr Baird as saying “While I have indeed received expressions of interest and am tremendously flattered by the support, I will not be running for leader of the Conservative party of Canada … When I retired from politics, I spoke about starting a new chapter in my life. I am extremely happy with this new chapter and will remain dedicated to my work in the private sector.”