It was a remarkable, even extraordinary campaign launch
Liberal rock star Justin Trudeau launched his leadership campaign bid last night in his Papineau riding, in the heart of Montreal.
They were all there - wife Sophie and the children, the young, the old, the ethnic, people dancing on stage and kissing.
The kind of rallies his dad used to have.
A very good first speech too, that vision thing, plenty of it, a few choice themes quite clear, human rights, dedication to country, the triumph of the middle class, without much substance to anything in particular to avoid giving targets to political opponents.
Trudeau did not stumble, made no mistakes, and had some of the eloquence of his father and none of his arrogance. So many contenders blow it coming out of the gate and never catch up. Not so Justin.
He was already looking like a future Prime Minister. It's enough to make Stephen Harper choke on his hamburger.
Journalists and commentators were talking last night about a Liberal leadership race, while Trudeau spoke as if he was already campaigning for the next election.
Not a single word bad word about possible Liberal leadership opponents, but a several hard shots at Conservatives for "putting a big cross on Quebec" and the NDP for being too "ideological".
And you didn't believe he's already in the election campaign?
But campaign launches by themselves do not win campaigns. Six months is a long time. How many candidates begin hot out of the gate and finish up in third place?
Remember François Legault and his Coalition Avenir Quebec last winter. Say wasn't he supposed to be premier of Quebec just about now? Last time we looked wasn't "Mr. Third Place Man" in the National Assembly.
The Conservatives are already preparing a smear campaign against Trudeau. It should be ready later this week, or next month, but certainly before the first snow flies. Remember how Dion was "not a leader" and had a Puffin poop on him from on high, and Michael Ignatieff and "only visiting" and he too was destroyed by the Conservative smears before he even got started. Trudeau is not the kind of politician who doesn't fight back. Ask Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.
The Trudeau enthusiasm and passion we saw last night may require Harper to become more human, a little less mean, and Thomas Mulcair may have to ease up in his attacks, do a little less shouting, and attack with a little less know-it-all certitude.
In politics, as in hockey, it all depends on the regulations. You've got to play by them.
Very important. The Liberal Party back room boys changed the regulations earlier this year to favor Trudeau.
You don't even have to be a member of the Liberal to vote for a Liberal leader on April 14. Anyone can vote. All you have to do is declare yourself a "sympathizer" of the Liberal Party. It doesn't cost a cent. And then you can vote.
Think about it for a minute. Trudeau with 155,922 "followers" on Twitter.
This is even more than the total number of members in the Liberal Party.
What If all these 155,922 "Tweeters" passed the word around to vote for Trudeau! Bye-bye to anybody else.
The way it could turn out, the biggest problem for the Liberal Party would be finding a credible candidate to run against Trudeau.