Transcript: Interview: Bob Rae | Jan 15, 1996

Steve sits in the studio, facing the camera. He’s in his thirties, slim and clean shaven, with curly brown hair. He’s wearing a tweed jacket over a green turtleneck sweater.

Steve says WELL, 40 YEARS AGO, WHEN HIS
FATHER WAS CANADIAN AMBASSADOR
TO WASHINGTON, BOB RAE WAS
RICHARD NIXON'S PAPERBOY.
TWO DAYS AGO, WHEN RAE
RESIGNED AS ONTARIO NDP
LEADER, RICHARD NIXON WAS
EVIDENTLY STILL ON HIS MIND.
ASKED WHETHER POLITICS MIGHT
STILL BE IN HIS FUTURE,
RAE RESPONDED, 'ABSOLUTELY.
THIS IS NOT MY LAST
PRESS CONFERENCE.
IN FACT, YOU MAY HAVE
ME TO KICK AROUND AGAIN'.
BOB RAE OFFICIALLY STEPS DOWN
AS NDP LEADER ON FEBRUARY 7th,
14 YEARS TO THE DAY SINCE
HE WON THE NDP LEADERSHIP.
HE WILL RESIGN HIS SEAT BEFORE
THE LEGISLATURE RECONVENES
IN MARCH.
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE
1977, BOB RAE WILL BE OUT OF
ELECTIVE POLITICS.
HOW DOES THAT SIT?
HOW DOES THAT -- HAS THAT
YET REGISTERED WITH YOU?

Steve sits in an armchair, beside Bob Rae, who is in his forties, slim, clean shaven, with a full head of graying blond hair and glasses. He’s wearing a grey suit jacket, with a white trillium on the lapel, a light blue shirt and flower pattern tie. A caption reads Bob Rae, NDP Leader.

Rae says NOT TOTALLY.
I'M SORT OF LIVING
THIS AS IT GOES ALONG.
I MADE THE DECISION OVER
CHRISTMAS THAT THIS IS
WHAT I WANTED TO DO, TO
TRY SOMETHING NEW, AND TRY
SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND TO MAKE
A BREAK WITH ELECTED OFFICE.
I DON'T KNOW
HOW IT'LL FEEL.
IT'S GOING TO
BE DIFFERENT.

Steve says WHAT
DO
YOU AND
DID
YOU LOVE ABOUT POLITICS
AND BEING IN THE
ARENA, AS THEY SAY?

Rae says PEOPLE.
PEOPLE.
MEETING PEOPLE, HELPING
PEOPLE, BEING PART OF THE
COMMUNITY IN EVERY WAY.
POLITICS IS A LOT MORE FUN,
I THINK, THAN PEOPLE
CAN SOMETIMES GIVE
IT CREDIT FOR.
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE A
PROGRAM WHERE YOU DO NOTHING
BUT GET POLITICIANS TO TELL
YOU STORIES ABOUT CANVASSING.
CANVASSING STORIES.
WHENEVER POLITICIANS GET
TOGETHER, YOU CAN TELL AMAZING
STORIES ABOUT MEETING THE
PUBLIC, WHAT THEY SAY,
HOW PEOPLE REACT.
THE CHALLENGE OF OFFICE.
YOU
ARE
, IN A SENSE, IN THE
ARENA, AS ROOSEVELT SAID.
YOU REALLY ARE
MAKING DECISIONS.
PEOPLE ARE JUDGING YOU.
AND THEY'RE SAYING YOU DID
THIS WRONG, YOU DID THAT WRONG.
I REMEMBER ONCE I
HAD A FUNCTION
AND CITO GASTON WAS THERE.
AND I SAID TO HIM, YOU KNOW,
THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT
BEING MANAGER OF A BASEBALL
TEAM AND PREMIER OF THE
PROVINCE IS THESE ARE TWO OF
THE ONLY JOBS WHERE EVERYBODY
ELSE THINKS THEY CAN DO A
BETTER JOB THAN YOU CAN.
EVERYBODY.
EVERYBODY'S GOT AN OPINION.
EVERYBODY'S GOT
A POINT OF VIEW.

Steve nods, smiles and says WHAT DID YOU HATE THE
MOST ABOUT POLITICS?

Rae says I THINK... I DIDN'T
HATE ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
AND THERE'S NOTHING, I DON'T
HATE ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.
BUT WHAT I THINK I FOUND
TRYING AT TIMES WAS HAVING
TO MAKE, YOU KNOW, MAKE SOME
REALLY DIFFICULT DECISIONS.
AND I THINK HAVING TO... I THINK
HAVING TO RECOGNIZE THAT IT'S
BECOME A MUCH MORE KIND OF,
IT'S BECOME MORE INTANGIBLE.
THE SWINGS ARE GREATER.
AND I THINK THE WAY IN
WHICH IT GETS PERSONAL.
I CAN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT
BECAUSE I'VE DISHED OUT AS
MUCH AS I'VE TAKEN, SO I
CAN'T SAY, BUT IT IS A TOUGH...
IT'S A BLOOD SPORT.
IT'S A TOUGH BUSINESS
IN MANY RESPECTS.
AND IT'S NOT
PARTICULARLY FAIR.
AND NEITHER IS LIFE.
BUT POLITICS, CERTAINLY,
REFLECTS THE HIGHS AND
LOWS OF THAT.

Steve says DID YOU, DURING THIS PERIOD OF
TIME WHERE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT
WHETHER YOU WERE GOING TO STAY
OR WHETHER YOU WERE GOING
TO GO, DID YOU HEAR FROM
PEOPLE WHO SAID,
BOB, THE GOING IS TOUGH NOW.
IT'S NO TIME FOR THE
TOUGH TO GET GOING.
WE NEED YOU NOW MORE.
WHY DID YOU DISREGARD
THEIR ADVICE?

Rae says BECAUSE, AS SOMEONE ELSE SAID
TO ME, YOU COULD BE 85 ON THE
SIDE OF THE ROAD, AND THERE'D
BE SOMEBODY COME ALONG AND
SAY, YOU'VE GOT TO
STICK TO IT, PAL.
WHEN I SAY IT'S A CRUEL AND
TOUGH BUSINESS, WHEN BILL
DAVIS LEFT IN 1984, AND I
CHATTED WITH HIM A BIT
THIS FALL ABOUT THAT.
AND I SAID DID YOU HAVE
RESISTANCE FROM YOUR...
HE SAID, 'RESISTANCE?
NOBODY WANTED ME TO GO'.

Steve says THEY ALL THOUGHT HE
WAS GOING TO GO OUT
AND WIN ANOTHER ELECTION.

Rae says YES.
AND I REMEMBER SITTING AROUND
WAITING FOR THAT PRESS
CONFERENCE, NOT KNOWING
WHETHER HE WAS CALLING AN
ELECTION, OR WHETHER HE
WAS DOING SOMETHING ELSE.
AND I THINK IT'S MUCH BETTER
TO GO WHEN PEOPLE WANT YOU
TO STAY THAN TO STAY WHEN
EVERYBODY WANTS YOU TO GO.
DIEFENBAKER I'M NOT.
I DON'T WANT TO HANG AROUND
WHILE PEOPLE SAY THE BELL HAS
RUNG, THE CAT IS -- I THINK
YOU'RE GOING TO FIND, ALREADY,
TODAY, IT'S GOOD, IT'S
HEALTHY, PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
I'M THINKING ABOUT
RUNNING, I MAY RUN.
LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
ENTITLED TO RUN, ENTITLED TO
BE THE LEADER OF THE PARTY,
TO ASPIRE TO THAT ARE
NOW COMING FORWARD.
BEING IN A JOB FOR 14 YEARS,
I DON'T HAVE A MONOPOLY
ON THIS THING.
THERE'S OTHER VERY TALENTED
PEOPLE WHO WILL COME FORWARD.
THE GOOD THING ABOUT TV
IS IT CAN VERY QUICKLY
ESTABLISH YOU AS A CREDIBLE
FIGURE ACROSS THE PROVINCE.
IT'S NOT GOING TO BE
IMPOSSIBLE FOR OTHERS
TO BE ESTABLISHED.

Steve says BUT MANY OF THOSE
PEOPLE, PREMIER --
I KEEP CALLING YOU 'PREMIER'.

Rae says WELL, WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

Rae chuckles and takes a sip from a glass of water. Steve smiles and says OKAY.
MANY OF YOUR CAUCUS COLLEAGUES
TOLD ME, IN CONFIDENCE,
I KNOW HOW WE CAN
GET HIM TO STAY.
AND THESE ARE PEOPLE
WHO EVEN WANT YOUR JOB.
I KNOW HOW WE CAN
GET HIM TO STAY.
WE CAN GET HIM TO STAY BY
TELLING HIM, BY CONVINCING
HIM THAT WE CAN WIN AGAIN.
IF WE CAN CONVINCE HIM THAT
HE CAN BECOME PREMIER AGAIN
AND THAT OUR PARTY CAN RETURN
TO GOVERNMENT, HE'LL STAY.

Rae says THAT'S WRONG.

Steve says I INFER FROM YOUR LEAVING
THAT YOU DON'T THINK
YOU CAN WIN AGAIN.

Rae says NO, YOU SEE, THAT'S
BECAUSE YOU ARE BASING IT
ON A MISCONCEPTION.
I MADE THIS DECISION FOR VERY
PERSONAL REASONS, PARTLY FOR
POLITICAL REASONS, IN TERMS
OF WHAT I THINK IS BEST
FOR THE PARTY.
I DON'T THINK IT'S HEALTHY FOR
ONE PERSON TO BE THE LEADER
OF A PARTY FOR 20 YEARS.
I THINK THAT'S NUTS.
THERE'S TOO MANY OTHER
TALENTED PEOPLE,
THERE'S TOO MANY OTHER
CREATIVE PEOPLE.
FOR ONE PERSON TO BE IN ONE
JOB AT THE TOP, BEING THERE
MEANS NOBODY ELSE HAS A CHANCE
TO DO IT AND TO TAKE IT
IN THE DIRECTION THAT
THEY WANT TO GO.
AND I THINK I WAS A GOOD
LEADER, BUT I DON'T THINK
I'M INDISPENSABLE.
BUT THE THING THAT'S WRONG
ABOUT IT FROM A PERSONAL
STANDPOINT IS, THINK ABOUT IT,
LET'S SAY I DO BECOME PREMIER
IN THREE OR FOUR YEARS,
BACK AGAIN AT AGE 50-51.
I'M THEN AT 55 SAYING, I DON'T
WANT TO STAY UNTIL I'M 60.
THIS ISN'T A
LIFE PROFESSION.
I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT -- I
HOPE THE PUBLIC UNDERSTANDS.
I HAVE TO THINK
ABOUT MY FAMILY.
I HAVE THREE DAUGHTERS WHO
ARE TEENAGERS, TWO OF THEM,
ONE IS 11, SHE IS GOING
TO BE A TEENAGER.
THESE ARE VERY CRITICAL
YEARS IN THE LIFE OF THE GIRLS
AND ARLENE AND I.
AND IF I DON'T FOCUS ON THE
FAMILY AND FOCUS ON WHAT I
WANT TO DO WITH MY PRIVATE
LIFE NOW, YOU KNOW, THEY'LL BE
GONE TO UNIVERSITY,
THEY'LL BE OFF AND AWAY,
AND THAT'LL BE IT.
SO THIS IS A VERY
PRECIOUS TIME FOR ME.
AND SURE THERE WAS
PRESSURE FROM THE PARTY,
BUT AT SOME POINT, I HAVE TO
SAY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH
AND I APPRECIATE YOUR WANTING
ME TO STAY, AND I KNOW
THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO
WILL CRITICIZE ME SAYING,
YOU KNOW, YOU
ARE BAILING OUT.
BUT LIKE I SAY, I COULD STAY
UNTIL I'M 70 AND LEAVE THEN,
AND PEOPLE WILL SAY, OH,
YOU'RE BAILING OUT
AT A TOUGH TIME.
SOMETIMES YOU
JUST GOT TO GO,
AND YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE
UP YOUR OWN MIND.

Steve says LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING
A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT NOWADAYS.
1990, WHEN YOU WON, I
REMEMBER YOU TALKING ABOUT
THE NDP, NOT AS A PARTY, BUT
AS A MOVEMENT, AS A SOCIAL
MOVEMENT, AS A FORCE.
AND THERE WILL BE MANY,
NOWADAYS, WHO SAY
THAT'S NOT THE CASE ANYMORE.
IT'S NOT A MOVEMENT, IT'S
A PARTY LIKE ANY OTHER.
THEY HAD TO GET IN.
THEY HAD TO DEAL WITH THE
REALITIES OF GOVERNING AND THE
PRACTICALITIES OF BALANCING
BUDGETS AND ALL THAT STUFF.
AND NOW YOUR PARTY IS GOING TO
HAVE A HELL OF A DEBATE AS TO
WHETHER OR NOT IT WANTS TO
MOVE BACK TO THE LEFT AND BE
THE SOCIAL CONSCIENCE, OR BE
A MORE PRAGMATIC LEFTISH, BUT
NOT LEFTIST, NECESSARILY,
KIND OF PARTY.
TALK ABOUT THAT A
BIT IF YOU WOULD.

Rae says I THINK IT'S A GOOD DEBATE.
I THINK IF YOU HAVE A SENSE
OF PERSPECTIVE, EVERY SINGLE
INDUSTRIAL COUNTRY IN
THE WORLD HAS HAD IT.
I THINK THE MEDIA AND
EVERYBODY ELSE SHOULD OPEN UP
THEIR EYES TO WHAT'S HAPPENED
IN AUSTRALIA, WHAT'S HAPPENED
IN ENGLAND, WHAT'S HAPPENED
IN FRANCE, WHAT'S HAPPENED
IN SWEDEN, WHAT'S HAPPENING
AROUND THE WORLD.
I THINK CANADIANS, GENERALLY,
NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE
CHANGES WE'RE UNDERGOING
ARE NOT UNIQUE TO US.
THEY'RE VERY WIDESPREAD.
THEY'VE CAUSED A DISCUSSION
IN EVERY MOVEMENT.
WHEN THE LABOUR PARTY FIRST
FORMED A GOVERNMENT IN 1924,
AND THEY DID IT AGAIN
IN 1929 IN ENGLAND,
TREMENDOUS PROBLEMS.
THEY CAME BACK IN '45, THEY
SHOWED THEY COULD DO IT.
THEY CAME BACK IN '64, AND
THEY'RE GOING TO COME
BACK AGAIN IN ENGLAND.
BUT THE PARTIES IN EACH --

Steve says DIFFERENT PARTY NOW.
TONY BLAIR'S LABOUR
PARTY IT'S NOT.

Rae says EXACTLY, EXACTLY.
AND BOB RAE'S NEW DEMOCRATIC
PARTY IS NOT THE SAME
AS THE CCF IN 1935.
WHY SHOULD IT BE?
WHAT ELSE IS THE SAME
AS IT WAS IN 1935?

Steve says BUT THE CRITICS SAY YOU
SOLD YOUR SOUL FOR POWER.
IN A NUTSHELL.

Rae says WELL, THEY'RE WRONG.
LET'S JUST PUT IT THAT WAY.
I'VE BEEN ARGUING WITH THOSE
FOLKS FOR A LONG TIME.
I SUSPECT THAT
DISCUSSION WILL CONTINUE.
I DISAGREE AS PROFOUNDLY
AS ANYTHING WITH PEOPLE
WHO THINK IT'S IMMORAL TO SEEK
POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY.
I THINK THE HIGHER IMMORALITY
AND THE HIGHER IRRESPONSIBILITY
IS TO SAY, WE'RE GOING TO STAY
HERE PURE ON THE MARGINS OF
POLITICS AND LET THE RIGHT
WING JERKS CONTROL THINGS
FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS.
I THINK THAT'S THE WORST
THING YOU COULD POSSIBLY DO.
AND THE OTHER THEORY, WHICH
I'VE HEARD EXPRESSED, EVEN THE
LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, THAT
SOMEHOW THE ANSWER FOR THE
PARTY IS TO BECOME, ONCE MORE,
SOME GOLDEN AGE, A RADICAL
SOCIALIST PARTY, AS IF,
IN KNOCKING ON DOORS,
WHAT WE FIND IS THAT WHAT PEOPLE
REALLY CRAVE IN ONTARIO IS
A PARTY THAT'S MORE
LEFT-WING THAN THE NDP.
EXCUSE ME?
NOT ON ANY DOORS
I'VE KNOCKED ON.

Steve says SO GO THE WHOLE WAY.
MAKE A FORMAL, IF NOT A
COALITION, A MERGER WITH THE
LIBERAL PARTY AND BE A CENTRE
LEFT FORCE TO TAKE ON,
STRONGLY, THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

Rae says WELL, I MEAN, WHO KNOWS
WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING?

Steve says YOU LIKE THAT IDEA?

Rae says I'M NOT SAYING I DO.
WHAT I LIKE IS A PARTY
THAT'S PREPARED TO TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY AND PREPARED
TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
BUT, AGAIN, I THINK I CAN SPEAK
WITH SOME CANDOUR AS WELL AS
WITH SOME EXPERIENCE.
IF THE REFORM AND THE
CONSERVATIVES FORM A
COALITION, OR IF THE REFORM
AND COALITION FORCES DO THINGS
AS THE ECONOMIES CHANGE, AND
AS OUR WHOLE PROVINCE AND
SOCIETY CHANGES, THE KEY
THING, THE
KEY THING IS TO
MAKE SURE THAT THOSE PEOPLE
WHO BELIEVE IN COMMUNITY AND
THOSE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN
SOME SENSE OF COMMON VALUES
AND THOSE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE
IN SOLIDARITY AND THOSE
PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN AN
EFFICIENT ECONOMY GET TOGETHER
AND WORK FROM A
COMMON PERSPECTIVE.
I DON'T THINK THERE'S
ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Steve says IF YOU LIKE THAT EXAMPLE I
JUST GAVE A WHILE AGO OF
TONY BLAIR IN ENGLAND BRINGING
THE LABOUR PARTY CLOSER TO
THE MIDDLE AND SHEDDING MUCH OF
ITS DOGMATIC PAST, AND YOU SEE
SOME SIMILARITIES WITH WHAT
YOU TRIED TO DO WITH THE NDP,
CAN I SAY, CAN I CONCLUDE THAT
YOU ARE AHEAD OF YOUR PARTY?
YOU ARE SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF
THE TIMES FOR YOUR PARTY?

Rae chuckles and says WELL, THERE HAS TO BE SOME
EXPLANATION FOR WHY WE DID SO
BADLY IN THE LAST ELECTION.
I SUPPOSE THAT'S AS
GOOD AS ANY OTHER.
WHETHER I'M AHEAD OR
BEHIND, I DON'T KNOW.
BUT I DON'T THINK... I THINK
IT'S A FAIR DESCRIPTION OF ME.
AND I THINK MY CRITICS WOULD
SAY IT AS WELL AS THOSE
PEOPLE WHO AREN'T SO CRITICAL
OF ME IS THAT I BELIEVE IN
IDEAS, AND THAT SOMETIMES
WHEN I GET AN IDEA, I TEND TO
EXPRESS IT QUICKLY AND TRY TO
GET AHEAD AND GET OUT THERE.
AND I THINK WHERE I'VE BEEN
LESS EFFECTIVE, I THINK IT'S
TRUE, I THINK I WAS NOT
EFFECTIVE IN BRINGING PEOPLE
ALONG TO THE IDEA OF
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
I HAPPEN TO BELIEVE THAT
THE IDEA IS A GOOD ONE.
I THINK THAT OUR ABILITY
TO KIND OF MAKE IT HAPPEN
WAS OBVIOUSLY FLAWED.
I MEAN, FROM A POLITICAL
STANDPOINT, IT DIDN'T WORK.

Steve says THE PREMIER OF THE DAY, MIKE
HARRIS, WHEN ASKED WHAT THE
BOB RAE LEGACY WILL BE FOR
ONTARIO, I'M SURE YOU'VE SEEN
THE QUOTE, HE SAID, "I CAN SUM
IT UP IN ONE WORD: DEFICITS."
NOW, WHILE THAT MIGHT NOT BE
CHARITABLE, HOW ACCURATE IS IT?

Rae blinks and says WELL, FIRST OF NOT, NOT A
QUESTION OF BEING VERY CLASSY.
PEOPLE SAY WHATEVER
THEY WANT TO SAY.
I DON'T THINK IT'S
PARTICULARLY ACCURATE EITHER.
WE HAD A RECESSION.
IF Mr. HARRIS DIDN'T HAVE THIS
PECULIAR SORT OF OBSESSION
THAT HE HAS, I THINK HE'D
UNDERSTAND THAT Mr. DAVIS'
GOVERNMENT, Mr. MILLER'S
BUDGETS ALL REFLECTED THE FACT
THAT IN THE LATE '70s
AND EARLY '80s, WE HAD A
RECESSION, NOT AS SEVERE AS
THE ONE WE FACED, NOT AS DEEP
AS THE ONE WE FACED,
BUT THEY HAD IT.
AND THEY RAN
SERIOUS DEFICITS.
THE DAVIS GOVERNMENT NEVER
RAN A BALANCED BUDGET.
THEY HAD A DEFICIT EVERY
BUDGET FOR 13 YEARS.
SO, YOU KNOW, TO SORT OF
SINGLE ME OUT AND SAY THIS IS
ALL YOUR FAULT, FRANKLY,
I JUST THINK IT'S SILLY
AND SUPERFICIAL.
AND, NATURALLY, I'M SORRY THE
PREMIER WOULD HAVE CHOSEN THIS
OCCASION IN WHICH TO SAY
THIS IS A PARTICULAR LEGACY.
I'M SURE THAT ON BALANCE HE'D
TAKE A SOMEWHAT MORE, NOT
CHARITABLE VIEW, BUT A LITTLE
MORE GENEROUS SPIRITED VIEW
OF WHAT MY TIME IN
OFFICE HAS REPRESENTED.

Steve says DO YOU, SEVEN MONTHS AFTER
THE ELECTION DATE UNDERSTAND
WHY PEOPLE VOTED FOR HIM?
WHY 45 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE
VOTED FOR HIM ANYWAY,
WHICH WAS A LARGE PLURALITY?

Rae says SURE.
THEY PARTLY WANTED
A TAX CUT.
THEY WANTED TO EXPRESS THEIR
FRUSTRATION WITH THE RECESSION.
WITH THE FACT THAT LIFE
WASN'T THE WAY IT HAD BEEN.
AND THE FACT THAT IN THIS DAY
AND AGE, IT'S EASIER TO BE
AGAINST SOMETHING AND TO
BLAME SOMEBODY FOR THE
DIFFICULTIES AND THE FACT THAT
WE HAVEN'T GROWN THAT MUCH
AS AN ECONOMY FOR THE
LAST 15-20 YEARS.
AND, YOU KNOW, INCOMES ARE
STAGNANT AND FOR A LOT OF
PEOPLE ARE DOWN.
THEY HAVEN'T SEEN A TREMENDOUS
INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF
OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM.
AND THEIR PEOPLE ARE
CLUTCHING AT SOLUTIONS.
WHETHER THEY'RE HERE ON
THE SPECTRUM OR THERE.
AND I THINK, FRANKLY, THE
SAME KIND OF VOLATILITY
WHICH PRODUCED OUR
ELECTION IN 1990,
ALSO PRODUCED OUR
DEFEAT IN 1995.

Steve says AND YET, ROY ROMANOW IN
SASKATCHEWAN FIGURED
OUT A WAY AROUND IT.
WHAT DID HE KNOW
THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW?

Rae says I DON'T KNOW.
I'M GOING TO HAVE A
DRINK WITH HIM TONIGHT
SO I MAYBE I'LL FIND OUT.

Steve smiles and says IS HE IN TOWN?

Rae says YEAH, HE IS.
IT'S HARD TO HAVE A DRINK WITH
SOMEBODY WHO'S NOT IN TOWN.

Steve chuckles and says I FIGURED YOU WERE LEAVING
HERE AND HOPPING THE PLANE
TO SASKATOON.
SORRY.

Rae says BUT I THINK IT'S
A LOT OF THINGS.
FIRST OF ALL, HE OBVIOUSLY, I
THINK, HAD A WAY OF GETTING
IT DONE THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE.
I THINK HE SET OUT AT THE
BEGINNING TO DO THE THINGS
THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE.
IT TOOK US A YEAR AND A HALF
TO REALIZE THAT'S WHAT
WE NEEDED TO DO.
AND THAT WAS A LOT OF
VALUABLE TIME, IN A SENSE,
THAT WE TOOK TO GET THERE.
SECONDLY, I THINK WITHIN
SASKATCHEWAN THERE WAS A MUCH
STRONGER TRADITION OF PEOPLE
ACCEPTING THE NEED FOR
SOLIDARITY AND ACCEPTING
THE FACT THAT IT'S GOING TO
BE A PERIOD OF SACRIFICE.
AND HE SUCCEEDED, FRANKLY, IN
BERATING AND BELITTLING THE
SOLUTIONS THAT WERE COMING AT
HIM FROM THE RIGHT FOR A TAX
CUT, AND FOR THIS AND THAT,
WHICH IN THE CASE OF OUR OWN
PROVINCE, PROVED TO
BE VERY ENTICING.
AND I THINK OUR PROVINCES ARE
DIFFERENT, BUT I THINK IT
SAYS A LOT ABOUT ROY
ROMANOW'S ABILITIES, FRANKLY.

Steve says I REMEMBER IN THIS STUDIO
HAVING A CHAT WITH
LARRY GROSSMAN ONCE AND
SAYING TO HIM, GOD, LARRY,
DON'T YOU FEEL BAD FOR BOB?
I MEAN, HE FINALLY GETS TO BE
PREMIER, AND IT'S IN MIDDLE
OF THE WORST
RECESSION IN 60 YEARS?
AND LARRY, WITHOUT MISSING A
BEAT SAID, 'ARE YOU KIDDING?
FEEL SORRY FOR HIM?
AT LEAST HE GOT
TO BECOME PREMIER'.
HERE'S A GUY WHO OBVIOUSLY
THOUGHT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN
AND NEVER GOT THE CHANCE.
DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT
THAT WAY SOMETIMES?

Rae says I THINK THAT IT'S A MOMENT
FOR ME OF ENORMOUS PRIDE.
PRIDE TO HAVE
BEEN THE PREMIER.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
CRITICAL OF WHAT WE DID OR
WHAT WE DIDN'T DO,
THEY DIDN'T GET IT.
THEY DIDN'T DO IT.
THEY DIDN'T MAKE IT.
SO FROM A PERSONAL STANDPOINT,
IF YOU'RE SORT OF ELBOWS UP
AND SAYING, WHAT DO YOU THINK,
SURE, I DO, A LITTLE BIT.
BUT LOOKING AT IT MORE
DISPASSIONATELY, I THINK
FOR THE PARTY, AND FOR THE
MOVEMENT, OF WHICH YOU SPEAK
I THINK IMPORTANTLY,
IT'S BEEN A VERY, VERY
NECESSARY EXPERIENCE.
IT WAS A NECESSARY
TIME FOR US.
AND I THINK IT'S SOMETHING
WHICH HAS CHANGED THE PARTY
FOREVER FOR THE BETTER.
I BELIEVE, PROFOUNDLY, THAT
THE TEST OF POWER, THE TEST
OF POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY
IS ONE THAT WE MET
WITH COMPASSION.
IT'S ONE WE MET
WITH GRACIOUSNESS.
AND I THINK THAT, ULTIMATELY,
THAT'S GOING TO STAND THE
TEST OF TIME.
I BELIEVE THAT IT
WON'T TAKE VERY LONG.
ALREADY NOW, I MEAN,
JUST GETTING AROUND.
I WAS ON THE SUBWAY YESTERDAY
WITH LISA GOING DOWN TO
SEE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
AND PEOPLE COMING IN AND
SAYING, YOU KNOW,
SORRY YOU'RE LEAVING.
I FIGURED, GOSH,
THIS IS GREAT.
I SHOULD RESIGN EVERY DAY.
IT'S AMAZING THE THINGS
PEOPLE SAY AND FEEL.
AND I THINK THERE IS GOING TO
BE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
ON OUR GOVERNMENT AND ON
WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO.
THE SENSE OF SOLIDARITY WE
WERE TRYING TO CREATE WITHIN
THE CONTEXT OF TREMENDOUS
CHANGE IN OUR ECONOMY, THAT'S
GOING TO DO THE PARTY A WORLD
OF GOOD FOR THE FUTURE.

Steve says I HATE TO THROW THIS AT YOU
WITH JUST A MINUTE LEFT,
BUT I ASKED YOU THIS AT THE
NEWS CONFERENCE ON SATURDAY,
AND I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT SOME
MORE, AND I WANT TO ASK IT
OF YOU AGAIN.

Rae smiles and says YOU WANT A BETTER ANSWER.

Steve says NO, YOUR ANSWER WAS FINE LAST
TIME, BUT MAYBE MY QUESTION
WILL BE A LITTLE BETTER.
YOU SPENT A YEAR OF YOUR
LIFE ON CHARLOTTETOWN,
ON THE CHARLOTTETOWN
ACCORD, IT FAILED.
MUCH OF THE LEGISLATION YOU
BROUGHT IN IN YOUR FIVE YEARS
OF OFFICE IS BEING
OVERTURNED RIGHT NOW.
AND BY THE TIME THE HARRIS
TORIES ARE FINISHED,
MAYBE ALL OF IT
WILL BE GONE.
YES, THERE IS A
CASINO IN WINDSOR.
HOW WILL WE KNOW BOB
RAE WAS EVER PREMIER?

Rae says WELL, I THINK THERE ARE, IF
I JUST TRY TO SUM UP WHAT I
SAID BEFORE AND SAY IT AGAIN
AS EMPHATICALLY AS I CAN,
THERE ARE VALUES AS WELL AS
INSTITUTIONS, I THINK, THAT
HAVE BEEN PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED
BY THE FACT THAT WE'VE BEEN
IN GOVERNMENT.
THERE'S A SENSE OF SOLIDARITY
AND OF CARING IN THIS PROVINCE
THAT WE HELPED TO SUSTAIN
DURING OUR TIME IN OFFICE.
WE WENT THROUGH A TREMENDOUSLY
DIFFICULT TIME, I THINK,
IN TERMS OF THE
LEGISLATION THAT WE PASSED.
MUCH OF IT WILL STAND
THE TEST OF TIME.
MUCH OF IT WILL BE SEEN TO
BE NECESSARY PERHAPS IN SOME
OTHER FORM, PERHAPS IN SOME
OTHER WAY BUT, YOU KNOW,
EQUITY DOESN'T GO
OUT OF FASHION.
COMPASSION DOESN'T
GO OUT OF FASHION.
THE NEED FOR DECENT HOUSING
DOESN'T GO OUT OF FASHION.
THE NEED FOR FAIRNESS IN
EMPLOYMENT DOESN'T GO
OUT OF FASHION.
THE NEED FOR EFFECTIVE
PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN BUSINESS
AND LABOUR, THESE THINGS
DON'T GO OUT OF FASHION.

Steve says AND THAT WILL OUTLIVE
YOUR TIME IN OFFICE?

Rae says THAT WILL OUTLIVE
OUR TIME IN OFFICE.
IT WILL OUTLIVE, MOST
IMPORTANTLY I THINK,
IT WILL OUTLIVE
WHOEVER IS IN OFFICE.
AND SOME OF THESE THINGS
ARE MORE PERMANENT EVEN
THAN GOVERNMENTS.
WHETHER THEY'RE GOVERNMENTS
OF OUR STRIPE OR GOVERNMENTS
OF Mr. HARRIS' STRIPE.
Mr. HARRIS SHOULDN'T BELIEVE
THAT HE'S BUILDING A WAY OF
LIFE THAT'S GOING TO LAST
FOR A THOUSAND YEARS EITHER
BECAUSE BELIEVE
ME, IT AIN'T.
AND THESE THINGS
WILL RETURN.

Steve says WE THANK YOU
FOR YOUR TIME.
AND WE WISH YOU WELL
IN PRIVATE LIFE.

Rae says THANK YOU.

Steve says PRACTISING LAW.
ROBERT KEITH RAE, 21st
PREMIER OF ONTARIO,
PRIVATE CITIZEN IN
A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
RIGHT BACK AFTER THIS.

Watch: Interview: Bob Rae