A few years ago, the idea of Kevin O’Leary in a political election campaign would have been impossible, even laughable for some. But no one is laughing now. The billionaire businessman and popular television celebrity is one of the strongest candidates in the race for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Among the people who are taking him seriously are the members of his political opposition as well as rival candidates who find their position within the party threatened by the influential presence of the billionaire. The opposition, however, fails to understand something. The more they criticize O’Leary, the bigger his campaign becomes.
The Trump effect
When Donald Trump decided to run for the President of the United States, there was a huge media and political uproar. Most of the media attention Trump received was mainly negative. People liked to make fun of him. Being an eccentric billionaire makes you an easy target.
But all that actually helped Trump and his campaign. The more his campaign came under the limelight, the bigger chance he had to put his message out there. Trump would never have been the President had it not been for the immense media attention he managed to secure. There’s a huge lesson for Canada’s Conservatives in this story.
Learning from history
There are a lot of reasons to compare the candidacy of O’Leary to the recent example of Trump in America. They both are successful businessmen and billionaires. They both aren’t what you may call a traditional politician. Both of them share a disdain for modern day political correctness.
All of these are the attributes his opponents think will hurt him. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Being a political outsider, in today’s day and age, isn’t a liability. It’s an asset. Getting negative media attention isn’t necessarily harmful for your campaign. It can give a candidate the momentum they need.
So whenever Lisa Raitt decides to publically criticize him, O’Leary should have a reason to celebrate.