Gordon Campbell: The new Rocky Balboa?
I love BC politics. It’s often more dramatic than some of the prime time offerings offered up for our entertainment on the big screen or the tube. And, whether you see him as the hero or the villain, Premier Gordon Campbell deserves an Oscar and an Emmy.
He was on the canvas, bruised and beaten down; his enemies could smell his blood, and even former fans were urging him to stay down for the count–and suddenly this latest Rocky Balboa of BC politics has struggled to his feet and vowed to fight on!
Make no mistake about it, “Rocky”’s punches over the past two days have not been directed at those of us in the wider audience: his best shots were aimed squarely at those formerly in his own corner, now urging him to throw in the towel, rather than fight on in November.
Campbell knows that to survive the Fall Liberal convention, he has to stop the bleeding NOW. That’s why he has delivered a blow to those wanting him out, warning them he plans to stay on, to fight and to win another term.
Now I still don’t believe he really intends to do that (has he ever lied to the voters before?) but the old fighter wants to go when HE is ready, not when some two-bit party punks throw jabs at him. And he wanted any contenders for his belt to realize that, so they’ll keep out of the ring, until he’s damn ready to step out himself.
I still predict that he’ll give up the crown next spring or late summer, thereby giving the party a fair shot at signing up and training a new combatant well in time for the May, 2013 election.
Could he stay on and fight again?
Well, his ego is still undiminished in any way. Sure, he’s taken some serious hits (HST, BC Rail, HEU Contracts etc) but he may actually believe he has enough time to recover from his wounds, train for another fight and pull off another win. After all, he beat his main challenger, Carole James, before…twice. And if he faces her in the ring again, “Rocky” probably does believe he can whup her again.
And he could even gamble (is that legal?) that, despite all the alienation being expressed right now by so many of his former fans, who will serve as “judges” that when it comes to marking their score cards in 2013, they’ll let bygones be bygones and back the “Champ” once again.
Especially if he buys them choice front row seats with their own money in the form of an HST tax rebate (Oops, we made a mistake! It wasn’t revenue neutral and we want to give some back).
Of course, that could prove his fatal flaw: he may have alienated too many fans this time to score a comeback. They may want to see him take a beating–at their own hands, no less.
And if he does decide to fight on, the Opposition could come up with a new challenger: but that match up is still 18 months away. That’s plenty of time for “Rocky” to size up any new competition.
First up, though, there’s that preliminary bout in November, and “Rocky” has now served notice. He has no intention of just giving up without a fight.
Don’t ya love it!
This column originally appeared in Mr. Oberfeld’s blog, Keeping it Real. Reprinted here with his kind permission.