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him with a minority.

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"He tries, but he doesn't get it," one Tory strategist once said to New Balance Premium Cruisin me about Harper.

In any campaign I've had the privilege to work on, I've observed that the politicians who come from humble beginnings the ones who have been on public transit, the ones who have worried about putting bread on the New Balance Skate Shoes

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The question, then, isn't who will win the next election. It's this: Why is the choice between two men we feel don't know us, or even particularly like us?

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"He just doesn't connect with people," one frustrated former Liberal New Balance Revlite Womens

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Aloof, remote, cold, emotionless those are the words average people use to describe both Harper and Ignatieff in the focus groups I have seen. And it's not just focus groups, either. Politicos know it, too.

Pardon me, but that's horsecrap. If anyone can produce a single undoctored photograph of Stephen Harper lined up for a double double at a Tim Hortons prior to the 2004 election campaign, we'll happily post it in this space and issue the requisite mea culpa. But they can't.

You can't put it into words, but you are keenly aware when it's there and when it isn't. If there is a connection between the leader and the led, you're a winner.

MP said to me about Ignatieff recently.

You have it or you don't. Oh, sure, the Cons have laboured mightily to

craft an Everyman persona for Stephen Harper. They've expended a few fortunes to convince you hockey rinks and Tim Hortons franchises are the summit of all Canuck wisdom and it is Harper alone who loves it there.

You can claw your way to top of the political heap, of course and Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff have both done that to snatch the brass ring. But that doesn't mean regular folks think you deserve it.

Bill Clinton, Jean Chretien, Ralph Klein, Rene Levesque all of these politicians connected with voters because voters innately felt that at one time they'd "been there." While these leaders may end up being very well off at the back end of their lives, voters trusted these men because at the front end they had experienced the grinding, terrifying reality that is a regular person's life. They've been there.

Ignatieff? To his credit, at least he doesn't pretend Timmys is the new Lourdes, with apparitions of Mackenzie King and Lester Pearson hovering above the doughnuts, imparting wisdom. He's John Kerry, and he knows it.

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Political parties spend untold millions to connect their leaders with the everyday reality of everyday people. But, mostly, you can't buy that kind of connection.

That, more than anything else, is why Messrs. Harper and Ignatieff despite all of their hard work, despite the Herculean efforts of supporters labouring in the backrooms still have not connected with Canadians. So Harper hovers at, or near, a parliamentary majority but not close enough, or long enough, to actually win one. So Ignatieff remains mired in political limbo, never securing enough support to provide New Balance Fresh Foam Zante 2

table, the ones who have laid awake at night wondering where the next mortgage payment will come from are always the most successful.

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´╗┐Ignatieff both lack connection

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