It’s astonishing to think that only two weeks ago, Caroline Mulroney was simply a candidate in the riding of York-Simcoe, hoping to become an MPP. And in barely four weeks she could be leader of the party that held power at Queen’s Park for most of the 20th century; three months after that, she might be premier.
While I’m still concerned that her lack of experience could become an issue, Mulroney is much more likeable than either of her two most recent predecessors. While both Tim Hudak and Patrick Brown struggled to win the affection of Ontario residents, it’s not hard to imagine voters warming to Mulroney quickly and even forgiving a few rookie mistakes, particularly if they continue to be fed up with the incumbent Liberals.
For the Liberals, she’ll be much more difficult to demonize than Hudak or Brown. It’s a dynamic not unlike how the child of another former prime minister got elected in 2015. There’s a short but steep road ahead, but Caroline Mulroney could quickly become the runaway frontrunner in not only the leadership race but the provincial election.