Movin' On Up
I read this in a CP story about Sandra Pupatello's promotion:
"The resignation Wednesday of former education minister and federal Liberal leadership hopeful Gerard Kennedy allowed Premier Dalton McGuinty to promote veteran politician Sandra Pupatello to a portfolio that makes her the most powerful woman in cabinet.
Together with another prominent Windsor booster, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Pupatello's "don't mess with Windsor" mantra is likely to take on even more resonance as the pair play king and queen to McGuinty's ace in the Liberal house of cards.
"We've always said that, and that hasn't changed today," a beaming Pupatello said of her praise for the border city, a place powered by its automotive manufacturing base.
"The road has been set and we need to keep the car on the road. It is about cars, I guess, in the end," she chuckled."
Frankly, I am sure that everyone was surprised about Sandra's new appointment, probably including Sandra! From what local Liberals were telling me, she was not Ms Popularity with the Premier or her colleagues. As an example, she was not part of the $500 million Gong Show announcement made in Windsor by Dwight and one of their colleagues. They would not have made such a promise without the Premier's OK.
So what happened?
Here is what I think based on pure speculation:
It means that the Premier knows that Dwight is going to run for the Federal Liberal leadership soon and will resign as Gerard Kennedy did. Dwight's budget makes him a serious contender even though the national media have not figured that out yet. (It also makes it easier for the Premier to bring Greg Sorbara back as Finance Minister when the time is right).
McGuinty needs the two seats in Windsor. He probably promoted Sandra so that Windsor still has a big-position Cabinet Minister when Dwight goes.
And who knows, perhaps it opens a spot for Eddie to run for the Liberals too provided he gets re-elected. The Conservatives probably would not touch him now!
The Premier probably expects as well that Sandra may go to Newfoundland to join her husband especially if he is successful in the next election. Who knows, she may run there too a la Jack Layton and Olivia Chow.
Until then, Windsor may as well hope for the best and congratulate Sandra. Perhaps Dwight is not now the only local politician who has overcome adversity and moved on up!