The launch of his official candidacy had been optimal for Mr. MacKay. Candidates who would have posed urgent threats to his coronation declined to enter the fray, and his campaign quickly raised enough money to submit the full $300,000 entry fee, indicating a healthy level of support. A recent Léger poll reported a commanding lead for Mr. MacKay, who garnered 42 per cent support from Conservative-voting respondents, compared with just 6 per cent for the runner-up, Michelle Rempel Garner, who isn’t actually in the race.
For someone who has said little and offered less – other than a few meaningless observations such as “Canada is strong, because Canadians make it strong” – Mr. MacKay has enjoyed the enormous benefits of being someone who is prominent and familiar in Conservative circles.
He had been enjoying it, that is – until Mr. MacKay came along and disrupted Mr. MacKay’s stride.