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We’ve got our running shoes on — most of us, anyway

Posted by Adam Goldenberg on April 29, 2011
20110429 - shoes
Michael Ignatieff laces up a pair of red sneakers in Doug Ferguson's campaign office. Photo: Georges Alexandar

Michael Ignatieff laces up a pair of red sneakers in Doug Ferguson's campaign office. Photo: Georges Alexandar

A few days ago, someone from Liberal headquarters in Ottawa called to ask me for my shoe size. “13.5 or 14,” I said, “triple-E, with a high arch.” This, apparently, was not the correct answer.
“Could you maybe squeeze into a 12?” came the reply.

I’ve been trying to answer that question for most of my life. At the shoe store. At the bowling alley. At the skate shop. “Size 12?” I think to myself. “Sure thing! You can keep the shoes. I’ll wear the boxes.”

So when Michael Ignatieff said this morning that he was going to put on his running shoes for the final sprint of the campaign, I felt a deepening sense of dread. The phone call from Ottawa… asking for my shoe size… and could I maybe squeeze into a size 12? Suddenly, it all made sense. When Michael Ignatieff said he was going to put his running shoes on, he meant literally.

And there they were, piled high at Doug Ferguson’s campaign office in London West: bright red running shoes, one pair each for Michael, Zsuzsanna, and their ruddy-cheeked roadies. Except one. I couldn’t squeeze into a size 12, after all.

It’s probably just as well. Like any decent political staffer, I’ve only ever run for two things in my life: student council and the bus. Neither was particularly successful. So as we head down the home stretch, I’ll leave the running — and the shoes — to the experts: Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal team. In every corner of Canada, our candidates and volunteers will be sprinting to the finish until the polls close on election day. Click here to commit to vote.

If you live in Southwestern Ontario, check the events page to find a whistle stop near you. Stop by and say hello; I’ll be the one without the red running shoes.

Now is the time to pound the pavement. On Monday, we can elect a Liberal government — and tell Stephen Harper to hit the road.

- A.G.

Adam Goldenberg is Michael Ignatieff’s speechwriter. He’ll be on the road with Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal team until election day. Follow him on Twitter @adamgoldenberg. Email him at

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