Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Will Maxime be shuffled off to obscurity? Say it ain't so

I haven't seen many people discussing this Hill Times article from Monday, so thought I'd give it a whirl, seeing as how it involves one of my all time favourite Conservative cabinet ministers, Mad Max: "Talk about Bernier heats up, likely to be shuffled, Tories say." Yes, it was another Conservative source-filled piece on Mr. Bernier who is about to be politically buried, "Ambrosed," shall we say. It's a bit of a shame, actually. It's been so much fun to conduct the Maxime strike watch and he's only up to fourteen by my count. I was looking forward to many more swings and misses.

So where is he likely off to, according to these mischievous Conservative sources?
"The talk is that Maxime is going to end up at something fun and more at his level, like Revenue," one Conservative insider told The Hill Times last week, referring to the National Revenue portfolio, where former Defence minister Gordon O'Connor (Carleton-Mississippi Mills, Ont.) was moved in August 2007. (emphasis added)
Oh yes, something "fun," like Revenue! And "at his level." Could this comment be any more patronizing? Revenue: where Conservative bumblers go to never be heard from again. I'm tellin' ya, the fall from grace of this rising, telegenic Quebec star has disturbed me to no end.

Let's see...what else do we have here in the way of gratuitous slagging of Bernier:
"I think more and more people are coming to realize that he's a bit of an empty suit," the Conservative source said. "He doesn't seem to have taken any interest in his files, and it shows when he speaks."
...
"It's kind of this accumulation of these little gaffes that are undermining him," the insider said. "He's a smart guy, but the Liberals are trying to paint him as a guy with no judgment, and that's starting to stick, unfortunately for him."
On that last point...gee, whatever are they talking about...:)

But alas, there's hope for Maxime fans yet:
However, a third Conservative source told The Hill Times last week that they haven't heard talk about shuffling Mr. Bernier.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement or quote on the record touting Maxime or anything, but still, it's there.

If Bernier does get shuffled out, let's hope the next Foreign Affairs candidate is equally up to the strike watch. I'm all for Stalkwell Day, for example, the former Conservative Foreign Affairs critic extraordinaire. After all, Day's been quite happy to interject his opinion on international affairs to date. And he's got that gaffe-touch, perhaps even more so than Bernier. Yep, could be a ripe time for a promotion for good ol' Stalk...:) Whatever was that critic experience for if not grooming for the post at some point?

Meanwhile, pity the poor beleaguered folks in Foreign Affairs. This prestigious posting where the public service views their institution with pride will have had three mediocre ministers inflicted upon them within the space of 2 and a half years. Pretty amazing. And telling you just what regard Mr. Harper holds it in.

Mark your calendars...we've likely only two more weeks of Maxime's official House duties as Foreign Affairs Minister. Let's hope he goes out with a bang...:)