Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ottawa-Centre: Paul Dewar is Right-Wing

Paul Dewar's blog is slowly morphing into a group blog, the group consisting mainly of his campaign workers. The latest addition is named Robin Maclachlan, who tells the following anecdote:
Paul plays on a local hockey team, along with the owner of Juniper Restaurant on Wellington Street. Apparently, Richard Mahoney had been in a few days previously and had asked if he could put up a sign. "Oh no," the owner said. "You don't have my vote - I'm supporting a real right winger, Paul Dewar!" Mahoney, a bit startled and confused, launched into an attempt to convince the man that he was more right wing than Paul.
This is one of those that feels authentic -- there is a Juniper Restaurant, and I've provided the link above. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul heard the story from the owner himself, and just repeated it to the staff. Whether the story is actually happened the way it's described is somewhat immaterial at this point, but it does tell us a few things:

First, Paul still perceives Richard Mahoney as the primary target to knock off in this campaign. (I'm looking forward to any future posts that go after Keith -- that would mean their internal polling perceives the local Tory as someone to take seriously.)

Second, Paul plays hockey for recreation with local businesspeople, who know him well enough to want to vote for him. This is significant, because it suggests he's networking locally for his support, rather than relying on Bob Layton's charm to do the job for him. In short, the Dewar campaign is playing up the man instead of the issues. (Which is good for him, because his issues page doesn't have all that much.)

Third, the implied plan of attack on Mahoney (and one that probably has legs, given his penchant for press releases over blogs) is that the Liberal lobbyist is out of touch with the local community. That plus he has no sense of humor. A most subtle attack, I must say.

The Dewar campaign is learning. Richard's going to be in for a tough time ...