KAMLOOPS — There are a lot of reasons Todd Stone has a shot at becoming the next leader of the BC Liberals and, therefore, a future premier.
As of Friday, Christy Clark departs, and the pundits are tossing around names of possible successors, like Dianne Watts, Carole Taylor, Kevin Falcon, Jas Johal and Sam Sullivan.
Most of them are either too new or too old. Stone, on the other hand, is just right, and here’s the Top 10 List why:
Number 10: Name recognition – Stone’s high-profile job as Transportation Minister made him known throughout B.C.
Number 9: Kamloops-South Thompson is a BC Liberal stronghold – there won’t be an embarrassing defeat there the way there was in Clark’s riding a couple of elections ago.
Number 8: He lives in the Interior, the power base of the BC Liberals and the Achilles Heel of the NDP.
Number 7: His political and party experience goes back way before he ran for office.
Number 6: He looks good in a suit. Seriously, he’s tall, has pretty good hair (OK, not like Justin Trudeau but still) and his smile is not a smirk, a definite plus.
Number 5: He can work a room. Not everybody can. He’s easy to like.
Number 4: His brand is relatively untarnished. He put billions into rebuilding B.C.’s highways and rural roads. His “Project Completed” signs are still all over the place.
Number 3: He’s young, but not too young. At 45, he’s in the prime of life, especially his political life.
Number 2: He’s thick with Christy Clark, and that still counts for something in the BC Liberals.
And, Reason Number 1 that Todd Stone has a real shot at the top job: He’s a political animal. Anybody who hangs a painting of Barack Obama in his living room is serious about politics. You need that to survive in B.C.
If you’re not a BC Liberal — which I’m not, either — you might disagree with me on this, but if you are a BC Liberal — and they’re the ones who will decide — Todd Stone is a pretty good prospect.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.