02 September 2008

Backuppable Tom to run for federal Connies?

The Family Feud could get infinitely more entertaining if local political rumours hold true.

Former Provincial Conservative Premier Tom Rideout is looking at running for the federal Conservatives according to CBC's David Cochrane.  When Rideout quit Danny Williams' cabinet a couple of months ago, Bond Papers had Rideout looking at a run against incumbent Liberal member of parliament Scott Simms in central Newfoundland.

The specific riding isn't as important as the idea of the guy who ran through the 1989 provincial general election like the love child of Speverend Rooner and Mrs. Malaprop running for the federal Conservatives in the fall federal election.

Rideout's departure from provincial politics was never just about a million dollars of roadwork, despite what some people would have you believe. There's quite obviously some considerable animosity between Rideout and Williams, likely dating back to Rideout's leadership win in 1989.

Rideout - who served in key roles in the Williams administration - is in a position to know where more than a few bodies are buried in the Provincial Conservative backyard.  He'd also likely attract a fair bit of support from long-time Provincial Conservative voters and backroom workers who are dissatisfied with the internal party strife resulting from the ongoing Anything But Conservative campaign, as the Family Feud is officially known.

The scrappy veteran campaigner would also be inclined to smack back at any attacks from his former Provincial Conservative caucus and cabinet mates.

Even if Rideout worked behind the scenes or as a spokesperson for the federal Conservatives in the province, the Family Feud could turn out to be the surprise hit of the fall political season. The Family Feud likely won't shift too many votes, but it would be political theatre of the kind the province hasn't seen in years.