Leon Wieseltier, in the more than two decades he has been editing him, he had never heard mention of an interest in running for office.
The real political question is whether Ignatieff can persuade enough voters in French Canada to return to the Liberals from the Bloc Québécois. The issue of national unity is overriding, and to Ignatieff the Prime Minister is secondarily a policy-pusher and primarily a unity-builder.-Adam Gopnik New Yorker Sep 2009
First, he is disingenuous about his previous role. When he wrote in The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere in support of war, preventive detention and “coercive interrogation,” he was not leading one of his academic seminars. He was in politics, seeking to encourage and persuade. As a public intellectual, he has always been in politics. If he did not know it then, he was naive; if he does not know it now, he is obtuse. Any academic who writes for the wider public should know that. His role as an academic was no excuse for his errors of judgment.
Second, his conception of politics is stunningly inadequate. Politics may, in one sense, be theatre and rhetorical battle, but it is not just performance. There must be authenticity behind the façade. The great actor is not just in it for the applause; the aspiring politician should not be in it just for the glory. Voters can make the distinction, and wise politicians know it.- Denis Smith The Globe & Mail Sep 2009
“He was brought in to reinvigorate the liberal brand, to go for the big game right away,” said Nelson Wiseman, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. “I think a lot of the party thought, ‘We need someone who has the intellectual gravitas of Pierre Trudeau.’ Like Trudeau, he came in as a fresh figure, but he also had a reputation abroad that Trudeau didn’t.” Eric Konigsberg NY Times Jan 2009
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's sneering denunciation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Washington this week as "amateur hour" sounded unappealingly arrogant and unconvincing.
It was also unwise. If anyone is vulnerable to charges of amateurism it is Ignatieff. Susan Riley The Ottawa Citizen
Over the past three weeks, they have been gravitating to the Conservatives in larger numbers than at any time since Ignatieff has become leader.
The Liberals who, in opposition, have never seen a path of least resistance they were not inclined to take will be sorely tempted to put the growing Conservative lead in voting intentions down to a momentary backlash against their role in triggering an unwanted election.
But Ignatieff's ratings have been on steeper decline than his party's since summer's end. He has yet to articulate a compelling narrative, not only for an election campaign but for his own leadership.
Having forced voters to give him a reluctant second look, the Liberal leader is so far failing to reintroduce himself to them on winning terms. Chantal Herbert Toronto Star Sep 2009