Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Keep your head up Danny Williams

“I’d kill him if he starts going into politics again. I’d shoot him first.”

— Teresita Williams on her son, former NL premier Danny Williams. (National Post, Nov. 27th, 2010.)

•••

I spose Danny’s all right, and his mother hasn’t taken him out.


The former premier was spotted Monday pressing the flesh in his old Corner Brook district of Humber West, the day before a byelection to choose his replacement.


Does that count as “going into politics again”?


If so, is Teresita carrying?

•••

Danny was campaigning Monday with Vaughn Granter, Tory candidate for Humber West, at Colman’s grocery in the district.


There’s a photograph in today's Western Star that shows Danny wearing sunglasses indoors — like the NL super star that he is — and sporting a vote-for-Granter lapel button as he shakes hands with a constituent.


The shot was taken in Colman’s bakery section (you can almost smell the fresh bread behind them) directly below the sign, “HOT.”


How fitting is that?

•••

According to the paper, Williams’ arrival on the scene is “viewed by some” as a lack of confidence in the Tories to win the byelection.


Only Williams wasn’t "talking politics" Monday.


“My intention was to make a clear break between myself and the new premier and the new government coming in,” he said, “I don’t want them to be under my shadow.”


But then he cast a huge one Monday in Humber West.

•••

One of Danny Williams most stinging critics was former premier Roger Grimes.


Williams often said that former NL premiers should be seen, every now and then, but never heard.


In other words, now that he's retired from politics, Grimes should shut his codtrap.


Should Danny heed his own advice?

•••

These are interesting political times.


Win or lose, the Danny Dynasty is quickly dying out, and Kathy Dunderdale must stand on her own to win the October provincial election.


Does she have what it takes to lead us?


Would you vote for her as premier? (Keeping in mind that you can't — not directly.)


The NL jury’s still coming in, but, to date, they don't seem overly Dunderstruck.


There’s a line of thinking that NL premiers must be larger than life, to make up for our whisper in the House of Commons.


And Dunderdale may be vulnerable.

•••

Not under present conditions, of course.


The New Democrats aren’t a threat; the Liberals aren’t either.


Yvonne Jones, who faces the “biggest year of her political career”, would put up a tooth-and-nail fight against Dunderdale, and most certainly take a few seats for the Liberals, but she wouldn’t defeat the PC administration and Danny’s formidable shadow.


But what if Jones stepped aside for the right candidate?

•••

Mark Watton, the Liberal candidate in Humber West, has handled himself well during the campaign.


It doesn’t hurt that radio host Bill Rowe practically throws palms at the young lawyer's feet every afternoon during his two-hour talk show.


Five Tories fought for the Humber West nomination, but the decision for Granter not to participate in an all-candidates’ debate on the environment didn’t go over well.


The Tories look arrogant.


And — here's that word again — vulnerable.

•••

It’s not hard to tell where Danny Williams gets his colourful language.


His mother says she would “shoot” him, just as Danny once said officials at Eastern Health “should be shot.”


Like Mudder, like son.


Teresita's love for her son is only rivalled by Marjorie's affection for the man.


Majority, a regular Open Line caller who's legendary for her love of Danny, was on the radio this morning defending her man.


“Because we don’t see him (Danny), that don’t mean that he don’t hear us.”


Host Randy Simms brought up the rumour that some Newfoundlanders, years ago, were actually buried with a picture of Joey Smallwood.


Said Simms, “There might be a few who want to be buried with a picture of Danny Williams.”


It will be interesting to see how many of them vote in today's byelection.

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