Monday, October 11, 2010
I've already blogged, quite early on in the presidential campaign that I was backing Tim Farron and I got to see both he and Susan Kramer in action on Saturday. I was glad to say that he proved again that the reasons I had for backing him on the day.
Both candidates, as Caron has written already, had the chance to address conference. There is the West Wing episode Freedonia where the question is asked "What is the Presidential Voice?" or course you have to be President to use the presidential voice. So how did the two speeched by the candidates size up.
Susan took, IMHO, the easy option of speaking in the pre-manifesto debate. Saying that a lot of it didn't apply in England, where the Lib Dems are still working to implement a lot of what we have achieved in Scotland already. But she basically spelt out why she should be president in what she had to say. All excellent stuff but hardly a presidential voice. Tim on the other hand took on the issue that was the hot potato of the day, and has become the Elephant in the coalition* this week, student finance. He called the system in England already in place a 'basket case' while saying that we should stand by what we had achieved in Scotland in getting rid of tuition fees. Speaking up for the party, even when in coalition on a hot potato of policy difference is surely presidential.
I also happened to be standing next to Tim as he was gathering information on the issue from the best place in the hall to do so, the Liberal Youth Scotland stall. Listening to our undergraduates and what they thought of the issue.
There are the 5 Ws that all journalists need to include (Who, What, Where, When and hoW). What I heard linked to the two names most frequently is Who's Tim and Where's Susan. I witnessed Tim working the room talking to as many members as possible. Even I knowing that Susan was there had a hard time spotting her.
Michael did take his 'I'm for Tim' badge off long enough to ask Susan some questions in relation to Northern Ireland in particular, we'd already asked Tim quite early in the day. I know Caron has asked her questions directed towards Scotland. What I will say for now is that both candidates are aware of the Northern Irish local party (not a branch), more from Michael when Caron edits LibDemVoice on Thursday.
The dynamism, finger on the pulse and way in which he communicated with members both from the platform and in person is what I want from a president and is what I saw from Tim on Saturday. All things that make me happy with my choice of endorsing him as he attempts to become our next party president.
* Other than our blogger of the year.