Chrétien clambered his way to the top from Shawinigan, but he chose top advisers with sterling Ottawa and Montreal establishment pedigrees. Eddie Goldenberg, his closest confidant and now chief of staff, is son of Carl Goldenberg, the late Liberal senator and prominent Montreal labour lawyer. His campaign chieftain was Power Corp. executive John Rae, son of a distinguished diplomat and brother of former Ontario premier Bob Rae. Maybe they helped lend Chrétien the security he needed to move among those born at ease with influence.
Martin grew up in a mansion in Windsor, son of one of the most powerful federal politicians of his day, but he has chosen selfmade political operators as his closest confidants. Terrie O’Leary, his former chief of staff and one of his most trusted advisers, is daughter of a Toronto Irish pub owner. David Herle, sometimes described as “first among equals” in Martin’s close-knit circle of strategists, is son of a small-town Saskatchewan farmer and grain buyer. Maybe they help give Martin the security he needs to talk with Canadians not born with his ready access to the corridors of power.
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