While Paul Davis and the Conservatives were launching their official election campaign, Ryan Cleary turned up in a recorded interview on NTV to talk about the controversy he embodies.
The single biggest thing Cleary did was confirm that his answer to David Cochrane last week was a lie.
Did you discuss running in Virginia Waters-Pleasantville, David Cochrane asked Cleary for the second time.
“Absolutely not,” said Cleary clearly.
Yet there was Cleary not even a week later telling NTV’s Lyn Burry that – in fact – Cleary had talked to NDP leader Earle McCurdy about Cleary running in Virginia Waters instead of the current candidate Bob Buckingham. Cleary brought up the idea by questioning whether Buckingham could run a law practice and be a candidate at the same time.
You really have to watch the interview to get the full effect of what Cleary said.
But make no mistake: what Cleary said to David Cochrane was a lie. Cleary made a statement he knew was false at the time he made it.
Burry was smart enough and experienced enough a reporter to give Cleary a simple question and then just step back and let him pour gasoline all over himself.
By 1:15 into the interview, Cleary admitted he had talked about running for the provincial NDP. “That’s a fact.” Direct quote.
Yet last week, Ryan did everything but tell the truth. He talked about scenarios but Cleary did not admit last week that he’d been talking to the provincial NDP about running for them in the provincial general election.
That is another fact.
At 2:12 of the interview, Cleary emphatically denies that he was involved in any way with the provincial NDP implosion on October 2013. Cleary says that he was disciplined by the federal party that November for his involvement in the provincial debacle.
Unfortunately for Ryan, whether he was actively part of the split inside the party or not, he made no bones - at the time - about his ambition to replace Lorraine and eventually become Premier.
Cleary then embarks on a broad attack on Earle McCurdy. Cleary recites some old stories about how the fisheries union ran federal programs while Earle was leader. Old news for everyone. Cleary talks about a meeting earlier in 2015 when he, Jack Harris and Tom Mulcair met with McCurdy immediately after meeting Davis about European trade. The bulk of the interview is an attack by Cleary on McCurdy. After about the 12:00 minute mark, you get little more than a recitation of Cleary’s talking points from his campaign launch last week.
No matter what else Ryan Cleary said in that interview with Lynn Burry, the most important part is the bit where Cleary lied. Burry doesn;t bring it up and Cleary doesn;t explain why he lied last week.
But he lied and there is no other word for deliberately, knowingly stating something that is not true.
All the things he says about McCurdy, his denial of involvement in the provincial party problems, his description of meetings with Tom Mulcair, his self-righteous claims about his reasons for running as a provincial Conservative, all of them are forever tainted by the knowledge that Cleary lied about a key part of the story.
As such, Ryan Cleary has no credibility left. It’s one thing to look like you are being less than truthful in an interview. It’s something else entirely when admit you lied. And it is something else again when you confirm that you lied but carry on like lying is no big thing.
That speaks about values.
That speaks about character.
All that Ryan Cleary did in his lengthy NTV interview is light his own ass on fire and invite everyone to watch the spectacle.
This situation is no good for Cleary. He comes off as something worse than a self-interested, self-centred ass. He’s a liar.
The situation is worse for Paul Davis and the Conservatives. They let Ryan Cleary carry on like this in public. Some of them might think it causes strife in the NDP and is therefore a good thing. Those people would be wrong.
The NDP would be smart if they just stopped talking about Ryan. If reporters ask, the Dippers should just shrug and shift the talk to something serious.
The thing is that Cleary didn’t just dig into his own diaper and fling poop. He sprayed crap everywhere. The NDP can avoid the mess if they don;t respond to Cleary’s provocations.
The provincial Conservatives are covered in the smears by virtue of having accepted him as a star candidate. Cleary’s ambition is already on record. His behaviour is well-known. Cleary will be as much of a problem for the Conservatives as he was for the NDP and since he brings no value to the table, Cleary’s candidacy is a loss. Once the election is over, don;t be surprised if Cleary runs for the leadership. His ambition is to be premier, as he admitted in 2013.
Some Conservatives get it, as David Cochrane reported days ago. They think Cleary is a problem. But the closer you get to Davis, the bigger a deal they think Cleary is.
That tells you all you need to know about Davis and his people.
In this election, voters should bring the hot dogs and marshmallows to the bonfire that is Ryan Cleary. Considering the Tory enthusiasm for Cleary, better pick up the stuff to make s’mores, too.
This one is going to be an epic blaze.