Saturday, December 02, 2006

Flight Delayed

Friday Dec 1st, 10:45 pm

I am not in a hospitality suite, I am not in Montreal, I am sitting on the tarmac in Toronto.

Air Canada delayed my flight three times and I have just boarded my flight almost two hours behind schedule.

Earlier tonight I caught Volpe’s speech. Volpe’s introduction video was put together by the same children who donated money to his campaign. It wasn’t even a video actually, it was just a collection of old pictures of Joe set to Tom Cochrane’s Life is a Highway. It didn’t seem like a campaign video so much than the type of thing a well meaning but talentless child might prepare for their parents 50th wedding anniversary. Usually these things work because family members get to laugh at the bad hairstyles from the seventies. I think the purpose here was to make people think “Wow Joe has been to the great wall of China, he should be our leader.”

The Iggy and Bob speeches I watched at the airport. Not a bad place to watch really. I was in a similar situation years ago and watched the Canadian women’s hockey team win the gold huddled around an airport television. This time it wasn’t nearly as hard to get a seat with a view of the TV.

One guy who was pretty knackered announced to those watching that Bob Rae looked “familiar”; this got a pretty good laugh. A few minutes later he announced “I think he’s a comedian.” Bob certainly exhibited a stand-up’s confidence by leaving the safety of the podium and walking to the edge of the stage. At the halfway point when Bob made the joke about Harper’s cabinet being vegetables, the guy laughed a little too hard and said “see he’s funny!”

Ignatieff, I noticed, speaks very slowly – the sign of a good educator. He wants to make sure that even the dim kids can follow him. I admit I have a problem with this style. When Iggy starts waving that bloody finger around I feel like I’m back in one of Ms. Patzold’s grade eight classes. His legions of fans seemed to like it though. When he wiggles the finger they tingle inside. I think Iggy actually made a big mistake and either reached into the wrong pocket or ticked off the teleprompter guy because it seemed to me that he was delivering his victory speech. I remember thinking it had something to do with “hope.” Basically he decided to do Bill Clinton’s act but not as well.

As I write this I’m on the tarmac and apparently Air Canada is “looking for a pilot”. It’s going to be a long night, but not the kind I had envisioned.