Smoke from the backrooms
I have a story in today's paper -- an interview with Michael Ignatieff's new chief of staff, Ian Davey. I'll put some more tidbits from this interview on the blog in coming days.
In the meantime, if you want to read more of what's been happening (or not happening) behind the scenes in the OLO this summer, have a look at this lengthy and interesting piece in this week's Hill Times. It deals with the reports we started hearing last March -- that former Privy Council Clerk Alex Himelfarb was all set to be the new chief of staff to the Liberal leader.
From my understanding, that did indeed *almost* happen, and the Hill Times is correct in reporting that there was a pushback from staff. According to one story circulating out there, the arrival of Himelfarb would have precipitated a huge staff departure from the OLO -- some voluntary, some involuntary. With a possible election looming as soon as this fall, that might have been just a bit too much upheaval.
At CanPolitico.com, incidentally, there's a new post this morning that takes issue with the conventional wisdom I cite in today's story -- that loyalists and long-time aides are a hindrance in power. CanPolitico cites all the leaders, ranging from Chretien to Trudeau to Harper, who've kept their long-time supporters close to them.