Happy birthday to you, Brian Tobin

Newfoundland politician Brian Tobin is turning 54 today. He first gained fame as a member of the Liberals’ Rat Pack, a group of youngish Liberal MPs with an instinct for finding the jugular of Conservative cabinet ministers.

But from a public relations point of view, Tobin is famous for proving that Canadians can and do cheer for gunboat diplomacy on occasion. It was previously thought that this enthusiasm for hard-speaking men using the military to score political points was a characteristic for the less-sophisticated American electors (please insert sarcasm). Brian Tobin shot that theory to pieces by sending the Canadian Navy against a Spanish fishing flotilla, seizing a ship and daring Spain to do something about it.

Others have tried to emulate Tobin since then. Some have failed miserably. Others succeeded reasonably well:

Brian “Captain Canada” Tobin is still a young man in the prime of his life. One wonders if he will run for the federal Liberal leadership.

Yes, lots of birthdays to celebrate this week on Final Spin… see yesterday’s posts.


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