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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday, September 29, 2006
A key Tory strategist says that, of all the Liberal leadership hopefuls, Michael Ignatieff "worries" him the most if the Tories were to face him in the next election, according to a leaked memo.

"I would most like to see Bob Rae as our opponent in the next election," the Conservative party war room operator Doug Finley says in a strategy memo obtained by globeandmail.com.

While the memo notes that the only "serious contenders" are Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Rae, Gerard Kennedy and Stéphane Dion, the most known leadership contender is actually Ken Dryden, but more for his hockey career than his life in politics.

The only conclusion that he is prepared to make, however, is that those native-born Ontarians who were of voting age during Mr. Rae's tenure as premier of the province hold "strong and negative" opinions of him. Although they note that the negative opinions appear to be contained in Ontario.

The memo says Mr. Ignatieff is an "impressive performer and the more people watched Ignatieff, the more they liked him."

Mr. Finely said he was "genuinely surprised" that Mr. Kennedy's name recognition was so low, given Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty government's "perceived competence on the education file." More...

Tories want Rae as Liberal leader