On Monday, Tim Hudak started his first proper day of campaigning with a rather awkward press conference at a music studio, where his host put him on the defensive by criticizing his opposition to the Ontario Music Fund.
On Tuesday, it was reported that his new campaign ad appears to use stock footage from Russia.
Neither of these stories will exactly make or break Mr. Hudak’s campaign; it would be surprising if many people even remember them by June 12. But still, it’s a little surprising how clumsy his Progressive Conservatives have been out of the gate.
Given that their party has been clamouring for an election for a couple of years now, and had a dry run last year when it ramped up in hope the NDP would help bring the Liberals down then, it seemed likely the Tories would actually be the most prepared for the campaign’s launch. And they didn’t do much to disabuse reporters of that notion in a somewhat boastful weekend conference call.
But so far, it’s the Liberals – a party that went through a leadership change little more than a year ago, and an overhaul of its campaign team since then – that looks like it was readiest to start. They were out first with their buses, they quickly got their leader onto a busy schedule, and they’ve avoided any embarrassing glitches.
No doubt, the Liberals’ deeper pockets helped with that. And again, it’s early going and it’s doubtful how many Ontarians are taking notice of these things, let alone committing them to memory. But it’s safe to say Mr. Hudak could use a couple of relatively smooth days to get his campaign on track.