That's certainty how I would interpret this passage from Brian Mulroney's speech at the big Conservative love-in tonight, as reported by CP:
A Conservative prime minister has launched a stirring defence of universal health care, and lauded Barack Obama in his bare-knuckle political battle to extend benefits to all Americans.Seems to me like that's a message from Mulroney to Harper: Obama is doing important things, Harper should be supporting him, and speaking-up for the Canadian system.
But it's not the current one. Brian Mulroney used a speech to 1,500 Conservative supporters to wade where Prime Minister Stephen Harper has steadfastly refused to venture: the bitter U.S. debate over health reform.
The former prime minister drew parallels between Obama's uphill fight to reform health care to his own struggles as prime minister, which may have cost him popularity but benefited the country.
"Political capital is acquired to spend in great causes for one's country," Mulroney said Thursday.
"Prime ministers are not chosen to seek popularity. They are chosen to provide leadership. . . President Obama is fighting for a form of universal health care and is encountering ferocious resistance.
"The attacks on President Obama are often bitter and mean-spirited and his approval ratings are sinking like a stone. Still, he fights on. . .
"Fifty years from today, Americans will revere the name, 'Obama.' Because like his Canadian predecessors, he chose the tough responsibilities of national leadership over the meaningless nostrums of sterile partisanship that we see too much of in Canada and around the world."
The vast, crowded hotel ballroom went silent at that part of Mulroney's speech. One woman was seen snickering.
Mulroney's eagerness to take sides in the U.S. health debate was a stark and obvious contrast from Harper's reluctance to touch that political powder keg.
Because prime ministers are chosen to provide leadership.
Leaders lead. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers