The Race for Stornoway: Maurizio Bevilacqua
-Globe & Mail headline
Background: Maurizio was born in Sulmona, Italy. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University. He's pretty much been a career politician.
Political History: Maurizio is part of the Liberal class of 1988. Despite being the first MP to support Martin’s 1990 leadership bid, he made it into Chretien’s Cabinet as a Secretary of State, after a stint as a Parliamentary Secretary. Because of this unforgivable sin, and his unwillingness to take the knife to Chretien, Bevilacqua was snubbed from Martin’s Cabinet. He has spent the past few years as a former future Cabinet star.
Rejected Campaign Slogan: “Maurizio has single handedly eliminated Canada’s deficit” (this one needs some background. Maurizio has been sending out flyers to Liberal Party members across Canada for some time now. In them, he pretty much single handedly takes credit for Canada’s current economic situation)
Rejected Endorsement: Paul Martin
Pros: Young and bright, with a long history in the party. Hopefully he’ll find his way into the winner’s Cabinet.
Cons: Little name recognition.
In Person: I had the opportunity to chat with Bevilacqua on the phone a few weeks back and I was genuinely impressed with the guy. He's got political experience and has a clear idea of where he wants to take the country. And it's hard not to by sympathetic to the guy after the way he got absolutely screwed over by Team Martin. Everyone I know who has met the guy in person has always been impressed with him.
My Take: I like Maurizio and he certainly has a bright future in this party. Truth be told, he’s running to raise his profile, secure a Cabinet spot, and make a leadership charge next time. Because of that, I wish him the best of luck in this race, and it wouldn't at all surprise me to see him as Finance Minister should be Liberals return to the promised land anytime soon.
Chances: Hopefully we’ll learn a lot about him during this race, but I just can’t see him winning this thing, unless something really weird happens at the convention. Of note, Chretien's former pollster, Michael Marzolini, is apparently on board.