10 August 2009

Wannabe candidates and nose-pulling

Ryan Cleary’s departure from voice of the cabinet minister came as a surprise to most.

There was speculation he’d been fired for campaigning with Jack Layton.  Cleary supporters came forward with other views including one version, reputedly straight from the horse’s mouth, that he left to spend more time with his family.

Here’s the way Cleary’s closest blogger-buddy put it:

However, he [Cleary] did say that the toll on his family was too high.  He was missing way too many sports matches, PTA meetings and was not home to put his kids to bed.  He told me that he could not make a long term commitment to Nightline.  He was having trouble reconciling his love of family with the hours of the job.  I think we can all understand that.

Tonight he told me he simply made a decision to put his kids first, despite the fact that he enjoyed talk radio and has great respect for the team he leaves behind at VOCM. He just could not make the long term commitment needed by his employer to keep doing the Nightline program..so they parted ways.

Well, that last one seemed like a real politician’s nose-puller.  How many times have you heard a politician quit a job of leave politics claiming it was to spend more time with the wee ones?  It’s used a lot but it’s seldom the story, the whole story and nothing but the story.

Turns out the bloggerated version from Cleary’s pal was a nose puller worthy of the love child of Karl Malden and  Jimmy Durante.

Cleary told a gathering of local New Democrats over the weekend that he will be looking for their nomination in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl in the upcoming federal election.  The Steele crowd wanted a long-term commitment, it seems, and Cleary couldn’t give such a commitment and run for the Dippers too.

Now if any of you know anything about politics, especially federal politics, you’ll know it’s not a venture for a guy who wants to spend more time with his life-partner and offspring.  To the contrary, federal politics can be brutal on home life. 

Missed birthday parties come with the territory.   Putting the kids to bed would be something from a fantasy world.  Getting to hockey games or school plays will also be dodgy and that’s even if the whole clan ups-stakes and moves to walking distance of Hy’s. 

Add in any considerations of more complex family situations and you can see that politics would not be the life for someone who found it problematic to spend a few hours at night sharing pearls of wisdom with the likes of the Moon Man rather than helping the wee ones snuggle down in their Spidey jammies.

Now on the other hand, Cleary may have nothing to worry about.  He might wind up with plenty of time on his hands.

The other New Democrat buzz from last weekend concerned an unnamed – but reputedly high profile  - candidate who is also eyeing the seat Cleary wants.  Unlike the relative walkover he faced last time in getting the nod, Cleary may have to organize to win the nomination in the first place.  He’ll have to start banking some cash, assembling the team and indentifying supporters.

And then he would have to win the election.

In the meantime though, that story about leaving Nightline to spend more time with the kids sounds like the kind of stuff  you get from certain kinds of politicians.

Bullshit isn’t an auspicious start to a political campaign.