Bob Rae announced that he will be seeking the leadership of the Liberal Party today. “I’m running because I believe I have the judgement, the character, the values and the experience to lead at a very difficult time in the life of our country,” said Mr. Rae.

It’s not exactly clear which leadership he’s talking about. If he had said “a very difficult time in the life of our party,” I would probably be in agreement. He and Michael Ignatieff are both pretty strong candidates, but I think Mr. Rae stands a better chance in a federal election. I find Ignatieff to be a little distant… he might very well make the best Prime Minister, but that’s no good if you can’t win an election. I also don’t think Mr. Rae’s much-discussed stint as Ontario premier is anywhere near the liability that it’s been made out to be.

But watching today’s press conference, I got the distinct impression that Rae is saying that he’s got what it takes to be PM during hard economic times. So he’s got some magic plan to win the leadership race and topple Harper’s government in the next nine months or so — that would be quite a feat — or he expects the recession to last a good three to four years, the most likely time we’ll be called to the polls again.

Now this downturn may very well last that long, but it sure doesn’t look good to come out looking like that’s your expectation. Looks like poor judgement, which makes the statement self-contradictory.