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Andrew Scheer, The Conservatives' Invisible Man

He is remarkably unremarkable. He is a nobody, doing nothing. He is the unleader.

09/05/2017 16:02 EDT | Updated 09/05/2017 16:03 EDT

So, Andrew Scheer shuffled his "shadow cabinet" last week. It was newsworthy only in that it reminded us that the newly minted Conservative Party leader is, you know, not dead.

But he isn't all that alive, either. Scheer exists in some sort of political limbo, neither here nor there. Among other things, he is remarkably unremarkable. He is a nobody, doing nothing. He is the unleader.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Andrew Scheer, leader of Canada's Conservative Party, speaks during a news conference.

And I'm not alone in my total indifference to the new Conservative leader, about whom I had to force myself to say something. Check this out, from the fellow who aggregates polls for CBC:

"Andrew Scheer's honeymoon as the leader of the Conservative Party is the worst any new party leader has experienced in 14 years, as the Conservatives are only marginally more popular today than they were when Scheer won the party's top job three months ago."

Ouch. And:

"In polls conducted over the three months since Scheer was named leader, the Conservatives have averaged 32.1 per cent support. That's 1.3 points higher than the Conservatives' average poll support in the three months prior to the May 27 leadership vote."

Also ouch. And:

"That score is below the average increase of 2.3 points experienced by past leaders since 1956, when comparing average support three months before and three months after a new leader is put in place.

"It is even further behind the average leadership bump of new Conservative leaders (including those of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties), which has come in at about four points — the same average increase newly installed Official Opposition leaders have experienced."

Worse than Stock Day! That one is going to leave a mark!

Now, I know all the excuses — Warren, you were Jean Chrétien's special assistant and are hardly our target vote; it's early days, give him time; it's an aggregate of polling by CBC, what did you expect?; U.S. President Donald Trump is making it hard for every conservative these days; it's summer and no one is paying attention; Trudeau's socks, blah, blah, blah — so don't bother regurgitating them. They won't work.

Chris Wattie / Reuters
Balloons drop around Andrew Scheer and his wife Jill after winning the leadership during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership convention in Toronto, Ont. on May 27, 2017.

The simple fact is this: the guy is a dud. He is invisible. He was the wrong choice.

Don't get me wrong: it's not that Andrew Scheer is a bad guy, or that he is evil and stupid like the aforementioned Donald Trump. He's just not there, you know? He's like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, where (spoiler alert!) Willis is a ghost and is the only guy who doesn't know it.

Now, when you are up against Justin Trudeau, the guy who is the literal personification of charisma, that's a bit of a problem. Trudeau is Cher, Scheer is Sonny. Trudeau is Dean Martin, Scheer is Jerry Lewis. Trudeau is Catherine Zeta-Jones and Scheer is Michael Douglas, age 100. Trudeau is Madonna and Scheer is 1,000 guys you can't remember.

Anyway, you get the point. Scheer can't compete with what Trudeau's got. He just can't. It almost makes you feel sorry for him.

The simple fact is this: the guy is a dud. He is invisible. He was the wrong choice.

Almost, that is. He's been in the news twice, by my count, since becoming Conservative leader. Unfortunately for him, both occasions were massive flip-flops. One was when he hastily declared that he would no longer be talking to the avowedly racist Rebel Media after his most senior aide helped to found it. The other was when he said he would not fund any universities who trampled on free speech — funding universities is a provincial responsibility, by the way — and then hastily reversed himself over the "alt-right" (i.e., neo-Nazis) holding events at universities.

Not a good way to get in the papers, Blandy.

When you add in his weirdo tendency to grin when discussing tragedies and untimely deaths, Andrew Scheer is basically unelectable. He's toast.

I know, I know, Team Scheer. Joe Clark beat a Trudeau, and he was dull, too. No one knew who he was, either. Bland works, etc.

Here's a pro tip, Tories: when Joe Clark becomes your best and only talking point, you've already lost.

Start looking for your next leader, Team Tory. This one's done before he starts.

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