The most intriguing thing about Justin Trudeau’s comments on his boxing match with Patrick Brazeau isn’t that he invoked his opponent’s indigenous heritage. It’s how he viewed the charity fight as a strategic opportunity to further his political career and is still proud, five years later, of how well he pulled it all off.
It’s no surprise that Trudeau and his team are very brand conscious. It’s evident in all they do, from showing up at events with rolled-up shirtsleeves to coordinated photobombing of weddings when he’s out for a run.
But they don’t have to be so outwardly pleased with themselves about it.
The charity boxing match in 2012 very likely springboarded Trudeau down the path to becoming Liberal leader and eventually prime minister. But when asked about it, he could have played it down. He could have said it wasn’t a big deal and he was happy to support a good cause. Instead, he’s was a little too eager to share the story of how smart and strategic he and his handlers were in setting up the right narrative, the right story to tell. It’s less surprising that Trudeau thought that way than how unabashedly transparent he is about his naked ambition.
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