The Toronto Star has an article online today that talks about the buzz around John Tory right now. Many strategists think he should stay in the political world -- either as replacement for Ernie Eves as leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, or as leader of the new united right party.
John Barber's column in the Globe also quotes Tory campaign manager Rocco Rossi as saying "[Tory's] not unilingual," thereby taking a knock at one of the barriers that supposedly blocked Tory from national success. Rossi goes on to say "He's quite functional in French. It's not up to the level of Paul Martin's French, but it certainly could be brought up to speed."
Personally, I think John Tory would be an asset to any conservative party, but that's not really up to me. They can decide for themselves.
What I do want to point out is what I observed during the many debates that I attended this summer and fall... John Tory was doing what he really wanted to do. He told us how he had been very interested in politics since he was a boy. I acknowledge that he seemed to really care about the public good, even if I sometimes disagreed with him about how it should be acheived. He also was willing to listen to and respect diverse groups of people.
I think that as leader of the provincial PCs, he would really put some pressure on Dalton McGuinty. I like McGuinty a lot more than I ever thought I would, and I think he will do a good job as premier. If he does, he deserves to be reelected. But, a John Tory-led opposition would be a formidable challenge.
Nationally, Tory might be the candidate I'd find most appealing among potential leaders of a united right. The question is, how well will this Red Tory do in Alberta?