GUNTER: Let’s face it – Erin O’Toole is a dud

DM

Let’s face it, federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is a dud and a dud is never going to defeat Justin Trudeau. A year ago, when the dawning of the pandemic forced the Tories to take their leadership campaign online and push back their leadership vote, I was struggling to choose a candidate to endorse: O’Toole or his principal rival, Peter MacKay? I consulted widely with people inside the Conservative hierarchy and almost to a person, they told me O’Toole. MacKay was flashier, they admitted, but O’Toole was smarter, a better organizer and more ideologically conservative. Now nearly all of those same people will confess to being disappointed by O’Toole’s performance. One sighed this week that the Tory leader has the attention span of a housefly. He flits from issue to issue, never fully settling on one for more than a day or two. You can’t make yourself or your party known unless you explain your positions over and over. That means you have to pick a handful and stick with them day after day, month after month, even if you and everyone one in the press gallery is tired of hearing them.

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