Boy, what a difference a week makes in Politics eh ?
A week and a bit ago the former Liberal Cabinet Minister Sandra Pupatello was happy to defined herself professionally as Director of Business Development and Global Markets at Price Waterhouse Coopers of Canada. This morning during an interview with me on 680 news listen here she was giddy and babbling over the prospect of becoming Premier of Ontario, which could happen by the end of January if she decides to enter the Liberal Leadership race and wins!
As you can hear in the interview, she still has fire in the belly, clearly relishes the thought of going for it and probably will if her husband is ok with it. She told me she also has the support of her colleagues at Cooper, leaving the impression that she could return to the job if she doesn’t win.
Pupatello doesn’t relish the divisiveness that goes with the territory of leadership races, but I can tell you she can handle it as well as anyone. I would describe her respectfully and affectionately as a “tough, smart lady with thick political skin” which are at least two qualities required to run for the prize..
Sometimes, it’s all about timing. The stars align in such a way that the unplanned and unthinkable can happen. She left politics before the last election with leadership aspirations but with no apparent prospects. Things have changed in just 7 days. Premier Mcguinty is calling it quits, so now, is Finance Minister Duncan with whom Sandra has been in the trenches since their early 20′s in Windsor. Duncan’s safe vacated seat could become her seat if she runs, wins and calls a bye election.
Unlike John Tory, who’s aspirations seemed to zig when the political zeitgeist zagged, Pupatello is in the perfect position to be catapulted into the Premiers office as the first woman leader of Ontario.
A minority government under Pupatello may not survive very long and it may be decimated in a general election, but hey, at only 50 years of age, It wouldn’t be so bad to have ” Former Premier” as a gig on your resume – just ask Ernie Eves, or Kim Campbell. Plus, she gets her portrait painted and displayed in the corridor of power at Queens Park!