MALCOLM: Trudeau’s campaign has been a bad rerun of an out-dated Liberal playbook

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Earlier this week, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was endorsed by former U.S. president Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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The year 2015 is calling, and it wants its political strategy back.

The mere fact that Team Liberal sought these endorsements — and thought they would help Trudeau’s re-election cause — shows how staggeringly out of touch they are with the world around them.

For starters, recall that Trudeau vainly triggered this unnecessary election on the day that Afghanistan’s capital Kabul fell to the Taliban.

While images flooded our televisions and computer screens of poor Afghan citizens desperately trying to flee, Trudeau shrugged it off and callously made the case for why he deserved more power.

Rather than spending our time, attention and limited resources on rescuing Canadian citizens and our allies, Trudeau chose a $600 million vanity election instead.

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A man who once claimed to be a feminist stood silently while the most repressive and anti-woman terrorist network on earth violently took control of a country Canadians died to protect.

It wasn’t a good look for Trudeau, and having Clinton and Obama send their endorsements only reminded Canadians of how hapless he is on the world stage.

As conventional wisdom goes, foreign policy doesn’t tend to impact federal elections in Canada.

But Canadians took notice of the monumental blunder of U.S. President Joe Biden — who seemed caught off guard by the Taliban’s surge, ill-prepared for the fallout, indignant about his responsibility (or lack thereof) and cold-hearted to the fact that dozens of Americans were killed in the process.

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The idea that getting an endorsement at this moment from Biden’s partisan ally and career catalyst Barack Obama, seems pretty ill-advised.

Obama is little more than a wealthy American celebrity these days.

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Likewise, Clinton’s endorsement came just hours before her campaign lawyer was indicted by a grand jury for lying to the FBI over the Trump-Russia probe, reminding us of the distrust and corruption that prevented Clinton from becoming president.

Why on earth would Trudeau want these endorsements? Because it’s all he has.

This entire campaign has felt like a bad rerun of the out-dated Liberal playbook.

They’ve trotted out the same lines of attack against the Conservatives that we’ve seen for decades — including old favourites like accusing the Tories of wanting to bring in American-style two-tier health care, re-opening the abortion debate and allowing assault weapons back on our streets.

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And while an endorsement from Obama may have had some cultural sway the first time around, at this point, aligning with American politicians seems like a liability.

To add insult to injury, while these endorsements were coming in from Trudeau’s elite friends in Washington, the world learned of a new political alliance — one that Canada is noticeably absent from.

Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. announced a formal strategic defence partnership against China. What was once the Five Eyes — these nations, plus Canada and New Zealand — apparently is now down to three.

This is a monumental blow to Canada, proving that, under Trudeau’s watch, we’re no longer even given a seat at the table.

While Trudeau tried to brush it off — misleading reporters by saying this new strategic partnership was only about “purchasing nuclear submarines” — the truth is much more painful.

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As retired Vice-Admiral Mark Norman said to the Globe and Mail, Trudeau “doesn’t understand what is going on internationally and he doesn’t understand what the significance of an arrangement like this is as it relates to international security.”

“I don’t think our allies think we are serious when it comes to defence,” said the senior Canadian naval officer.

Our allies are right. Trudeau is not a serious leader. His foreign policy focuses on seeking the endorsement of fading politicians, rather than working to ease the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan or doing the hard work alongside our allies to neutralize the growing threat of China.

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