Friday, August 28, 2009

Doer Gone

In a slow news summer there is now some news that seems to have caught many by surprise.

I recently wrote here that Doer's popularity was never higher and he could easily win re-election based on his performance. I questioned if the the NDP would ever find someone that matched him in appeal.

For some time now, I have been speculating in one of the larger political forums in the country about Doer's future. Doer appeared a little worn out this spring after the latest session than he had been in a long while. The Tories were more effective in opposition albeit the polls still show the NDP ahead.

This fall looked to have more challenges for any governing party. It was with this in mind that I started thinking if Doer might not be receiving some job offers. There has been the occasional talk of a few things such as a university job, candidate for a political party federally (either Liberal or NDP), an international position and even a few business or non-governmental positions.

I have written numerous times about the good relationship Doer seemed to have with Harper. While, I thought it was unlikely that a Senate job was in the offing, I wondered if Michael Wilson was staying longer in Washington. Given a new U.S. ambassador appointed by Obama and Wilson's very long public service, it made sense to consider that a replacement might be needed in Washington.

Doer is a perfect fit for the job. He has the relationships in the U.S. through years of work with people in Washington and various states. He is on a first name basis with quite a few governors.

He has left the NDP in a strong position save for the fact that much of the strength comes from his leadership and personality. My guess is that over the course of the days before the caucus meeting, many NDPers will be contemplating a leadership run for themselves. Others will be looking at retiring from politics themselves.

Change is coming. For the first time in a long while, politics in Manitoba will be broken wide open.

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