Poor Stephen Harper - the very people that should be his best campaign allies - Ralph Klein, Mike Harris, George Bush et. al. keep turning out to be his biggest liabilities.
While I can't even begin to describe my outrage with the whining from Ambassador Wilkins earlier this week, I also realize that he's the messenger - those words largely came from his masters in Washington, D.C.
Surely, someone among Bush's cadre of advisors would have realized that having your ambassador lecture Canadians about how we treat the White House (especially the most unpopular administration - for Canadians at least - since Richard Nixon, is essentially handing the election over to the very man that you least want to see in power. (Of course, BushCo has repeatedly demonstrated that their idea of foreign affairs involves a Texan talking to a Californian - what happens in other countries is quite beyond them)
Even in Conservative heartland Alberta, people are downright angry with Wilkins for delivering a speech that sounded like a rehash of a standard Paul Celucci special. The first thing this will do is galvanize public opinion against the Bush Administration. The second thing it will do is make voters all the more wary of any politician that speaks in terms of cuddling up with the current US administration.
The White House has just put itself square in the middle of the Canadian political debate, along with Focus on the Family, and the NRA. I fully expect the Liberals (and NDP) will play this for all its worth - not only have we the words of these various organizations, but we also have Stephen Harper in his own words contradicting himself left right and center on US relations.
I hope Stephen likes the feeling of walking around with his feet full of buckshot...