He's a nice guy. A smart guy. You want to like him. But man alive, is Stephane Dion on course for a spectacular flame-out. The clearest sign yet is his frank admission that, in the wake of the Libs' punishing by-election losses, his image may need a makeover. Well, duh.
"I'll do so and my party is going to help me, so that you meet the real Stéphane Dion ... by really putting forth my personality and explaining what I am. People have to know me."
Too late, Dion. In modern politics once you recognize the need for a makeover, you're already dead. Once you allow your opponents to define you (think: not a leader), you've lost the ability to define yourself.
The examples are clear. John Kerry was characterized as a flip-flopper, then 'swiftboated'. He never recovered. The last two UK Labour Party victories came after the party aggressively and persistently defined Conservative Party leaders William Hague and Michael Howard as 'old guard' Tories, 'wallies', and so on.
The image of an ineffectual Dion is now burned in the minds of the Canadian public. And Dion doesn't have the public chops to remove it. Sorry, Libs. You lost this battle. Time to turn your attention to losing the next election and finding a leader who can stand up to the Tory branding machine.