24 March 2011

Hell hath no fury …

Like the Old Man when he’s pissed off.

Reporters caught up to former Premier Danny Williams at St. John’s airport on Wednesday.  Not surprisingly they asked him about a report this week he won’t be attending a tribute dinner the party planned to throw for him during its leadership convention.

You’ll find the CBC version at about the 10:00 mark in the Here and Now broadcast.

Now usually, the Old Man would insist that nothing could be further from the truth whenever he wanted to deny something, even when the story was accurate.

In this case, there answer is conspicuously different. Glenn Deir asks Danny about the suggestion that there is some kind of rift between him and his successor.

“Not interested in getting into that”.

“No Comment”.

And reference to a tribute that will happen at some point in the undetermined future.

Put that together with the smirk on his face and you can pretty much guess that the Old Man is mightily fried with Kathy Dunderdale about something.  One version has it that Danny didn’t think Dunderdale and her crew had done enough to defend his former communications director in the controversy over her appointment to the offshore regulatory board.

If that’s the case, then Kath may well have some serious political cracks inside her caucus.  She doesn’t hold her current position by virtue of anything other than someone else’s good graces.  More than a few members of her caucus would likely take the view  - if pushed - that they owe their seats to the Old Man not to Kathy.

She’s gotta be feeling a little uneasy. There’s an implication to his tone, his smirk and reference that reporters should ask Dunderdale about their relationship.

If nothing else, his decision to jet off to Florida or wherever he’s gone instead of handing the reins formally to Dunderdale robs her of any symbolic continuity, any trace of his legacy. Instead, there will be some kind of tribute to Danny – with the focus solely on him, obviously – at some time in the future.

Imagine trying to get yourself sorted out for an election campaign while your predecessor and his pals are pissed off at you behind the scenes.  On top of everything else she’s facing, Kathy probably never expected she’d have to face Danny chucking hand grenades at her.

This is going to be one interesting political year and it’s a long way from over.

- srbp -