Take a look at both Barack Obama and Stephen Harperâ€™s Flickr accounts. I was absolutely amazed at the difference in them. The Whitehouse acct is full of thousands and thousands of photos of Obama in a variety of contexts. The Situation Room, playing with his kids, playing practical jokes, preparing to confront the GOP, shooting hoops, skipping rocks, meeting world leaders, talking with national security advisors, and engaging with people. Stephen Harper doesnâ€™t even have a pro account and the photos that are posted there are of political fundraisers and funding announcements.
Now if I am Stephen Harper (and I am not, heâ€™s a tactical genius while I can tell you what Reggie Lemelinâ€™s GAA was in 1982 off the top of my head), I would be telling my official photographer to be uploading everything to Flickr (and use a version of Flickrâ€™s Whitehouse inspired photo license) From breakfast with Laureen, to my walking my kids to school, giving John Baird parking money (in case you forgot, Baird often escorts Laureen Harper to cultural events that Stephen doesnâ€™t like attending) cabinet meetings, impromptu road hockey games, buying a burger at a Senators game, visiting with voters, having lunch with the Obamas, practising with his band in the basement of 24 Sussex, playing golf with John Turnerâ€¦ whatever it is, I would use it to show Canadians who he really is. I donâ€™t know if you remember this classic bit he did with Rick Mercerâ€¦
Some more of this and less attack ads could actually remind Canadians that he is likeable. Of course I realize he may be already doing this and deep down he is an unengaged partisan who works by himself late at night in his office (according to the campaign ads). I never said my idea was without risk.