View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – O’Leary in the Shark Tank FEB 3, 2017

View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – O’Leary in the Shark Tank FEB 3, 2017

As O’Leary or his team commits another blunder by posting a video of him having fun at a shooting range just as the funerals for the Mosque victims in Quebec starts, sharks of every colour- blue, red, orange and green should be circling around him.

The blue sharks for the obvious reason that he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, and I stress the “Canada” part of the name. All the other sharks should be circling too because as we all know; nothing is ever forgotten in politics and everything comes back to bite you at one time or another- especially through political attack ads. Just ask Ignatieff, the other Canadian who came back home to run the country. Come to think of it he was at Harvard, also from the Boston area.

First we had O’Leary’s comments about our vets, but, with a bit of fancy footwork they managed to dig him out of that one. Then we had his asinine comments about selling seats in the Senate to the highest bidder. He might be able to explain that one as sarcasm, although a great many people wouldn’t believe that answer.

Now we have the inability of O’Leary and his team to answer some pretty easy questions, every one of which should have been anticipated. If you can’t tell people if you will move to Canada and live here full time if elected leader of the Conservative Party of CANADA- you have a problem. If he can’t give a straight answer on whether or not he will run in 2019 if not elected leader- he has another problem.

In the same vein, if O’Leary can’t give a straight forward answer about whether or not he will continue on the American TV show “Shark Tank” if he is elected the leader, then the problems keep adding up. If he ever attends a debate, I am sure he will be asked why he thinks being the leader of a national political party and Leader of the Official Opposition is a part-time job? It is a fair question if you won’t tell people what you will do.

These are very basic questions that his team should have grilled him on before he announced he was running. He is the candidate who brags that he tells the truth no matter how much it hurts- ducking straight forward questions doesn’t wear well. By ducking the questions and not answering, he has allowed the other candidates, other political parties and the media to frame his answers for him- that is just plain dumb.

The latest head shaking moment came today with a post to his campaign facebook page of a video of O’Leary at a shooting range. The fact that this was done on the same day as the Quebec funerals is stunning for its ineptitude. It doesn’t matter when the video was taken. All campaigns have a script book and a roll out plan for communications that is prepared weeks in advance. We get that part, but, doesn’t his team realize that it has to be adjusted daily based on what is happening in the real world, not just inside their campaign bubble? Where was the vetting process? Did the candidate sign off on the posting of that video? That is another question the media will be asking. Hopefully O’Leary has an answer for it.

I was there when we plotted the attacks on Ignatieff and Dion; everything gets used against you-every action, every word, and every mistake. Politics is a brutal game with no quarter given. O’Leary has opened the door to the circling sharks. The only question remaining is whether or not he can jump back into the shark proof cage before it is too late.

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