So former Jean Chrétien Chief of Staff Jean Pelletier is dead.
It is traditional to say something nice about the deceased, so here goes: I really liked his relationship with the media.
The guy spent 12 years as Mayor of Quebec City, a position that requires a lot of public exposure. He gives hundreds of media interviews.
Then he’s drafted by Chrétien to be his Chief-of-Staff – he closes up like an clam and disappears from public view. He stays away from reporters, he doesn’t leak. He doesn’t badmouth anybody from his own party either, which is a nice contrast from the curious brand of political operators the Liberals currently employ.
If Jean Pelletier merely disliked you, you would never hear about it – and certainly not from somebody else. But if you screwed up, the only noise coming from Pelletier’s office would be the sound of a swiftly falling axe blade (and then it would be too late). No smear campaign, no wink-wink-nudge-nudge with reporters, no character assassination by anonymous sources.
I met the man once at a social function, years ago. He took the time to talk and be kind to me even though I was a nobody (still am). Perhaps he disliked me, but kept it to himself. So I guess what they say about him being a gentleman is true.
Further reading: Paul Wells’ comments on his blog.