I note certain pundits who are routinely wrong (and yet still opine with unwarranted swagger) have already declared the race over before it starts. Given past track records, these assertions only confirm what we already know, namely having a column and having a clue aren't necessarily one in the same. This amusing "will they ever learn" dynamic aside, one of the cardinal rules in politics, there are no sure things, particularly when it comes to a contest of such length, with so many variables.
I believe Justin will be the front runner in the Liberal leadership, everyone can agree on this point. However, in many respects the leadership will act as prolonged test, wherein everyone scrutinizes every development, stumbles highlighted and ABOVE all an intense desire to actually have a RACE. What this reality means, the same people who are coronating now will TURN hard on Trudeau at first opportunity, tear down, dissect, essentially act as a well paid negative ad campaign. It happens every time, build you up, tear you down, then perhaps a rehabilitation should a race actually emerge. An astute observation from Rob Silver:
“I have a funny feeling that the two opposition parties and the media won’t allow it to be a cakewalk, regardless of who else is running,” he said.
Cakewalks are boring, we want a race dammit and should Trudeau look insurmountable, expect every effort to undo that momentum. Factor in the reality that Justin speaks his mind, I expect plenty of fodder and exaggeration when the inevitable turn comes from the same people who have already warmed the throne. In many ways coverage of leadership races is more a study of human nature than a debate about ideas.
If the race evolves into a test of leadership, wherein the assumptions are made with Trudeau and were merely watch, put him through his chops, ascertain if the "meddle" is apparent, then we still have a contest. Within this angle, whomever emerges as primary challenger will be poised correctly should things snowball and Liberals, supporters have concerns about fitness and performance. To a lesser degree, the 2006 leadership run of Michael Ignatieff serves as an example of why the RACE itself is key, early assumptions just that.
Trudeau is a force, Trudeau has the je ne sais quoi, people will fawn, his light will shine brightest, all realities moving forward. Another reality, anybody who thinks this race is a lock, at this stage, isn't a very good student of politics or history.