Among several attributes that backroom political organizers prize among frontline candidates is intensity. Laschinger and Stevens give as an example Larry Grossman, a minister in the Conservative government of Ontario premier William Davis from 1977 to 1985:
Intensity is a precious asset to an ambitious politician, as long as he does not let his ambition become too obvious. Backroom organizers look for politicians who have an ability to move effortlessly through stressful daily routines.
Larry Grossman had that intensity. He wanted desperately to be premier, and he brought a single-mindedness to his career in the Ontario legislature. He recalls how he
felt in 1977 when Davis was shuffling his cabinet and Grossman, still a backbencher, was hoping desperately for a promotion.
He knew Davis was leaving in two days for a government business trip to Japan.
Grossman sat by the phone all day and all night. Meanwhile, his wife's uncle had died. Carole and Larry Grossman went to the funeral, then to the cemetery and back to the widow’s house. Larry Grossman was in a terrible funk. And then:
“I look down at the coffee
table and there’s a little handwritten message: urgent call for Larry Grossman. I leap to the phone. ‘Oh, Mr. Grossman, the premier's been looking for you.’ My heart’s beating a hundred miles an hour. ‘He’d like to see you this after-
noon, but he’s leaving for Japan in 10 minutes.' I said, ‘No problem, I’ll be there.’ “It was raining like a son of a bitch and I’m driving on the sidewalks, and going through red lights. I leave the car right in front of the legislature. I jump out. It’s raining hard and my suit’s wet. I’m dripping, but I stroll nonchalantly down the hallway to the premier's office. He offers me a cabinet post, minister of consumer and commercial relations. And I call Carole back at her uncle’s house. We
at weren't to tell anybody about it until the next day. So Carole was unable to tell anybody why she was crying as we talked on the phone. They couldn’t believe Carole was that close to her deceased uncle. ”□
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