Friday 22 September 2017

With power, something has subtly changed in Leo

Is he shy or just introverted? And who can he trust? As Leo Varadkar assumes the mantle, there will be fascinating times ahead, says Brendan O'Connor

NO DRAMA: Leo Varadkar on his way to the cinema in Smithfield, Dublin, last Saturday. Picture: David Conachy
NO DRAMA: Leo Varadkar on his way to the cinema in Smithfield, Dublin, last Saturday. Picture: David Conachy

It was a weird week to be binge-watching House of Cards. The echoes with real life in Donald Trump's White House were uncanny. And weirdly, it made you think of Leo Varadkar as well. Unlike Frank Underwood, the fictional president in House of Cards, Leo has assumed the mantle of power without managing to seem too unattractively ambitious. The narrative has more been one of destiny than ambition. There was a sense that this had to happen, it's been in the offing for ages, and Leo is just graciously going along with the inevitability.

And it's fascinating to watch the power surging into Leo, making the boy a man. Something has subtly changed in him already. And all those suggestions that Leo might be flaky seem wide of the mark so far.

Despite worries that he was not the right man to do business with Fianna Fail, his meeting with Micheal Martin seems to have gone smoothly and agreement reached that FF will abstain and allow him to become Taoiseach. Despite a bit of posturing from the Independents, some of whom tried to characterise their interaction with Leo as them listing demands while Leo listened, he seems to be managing to herd those particular cats efficiently, too.

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