Fine Gael surge is down to Noonan
Fine Gael's strategy of exposing its most heavyweight frontbenchers to the glare of the media spotlight seems to be working. The Irish people are impressed with Michael Noonan, and the so-called Noonan strategy may be reaping dividends for Fine Gael in light of Enda Kenny's weak popularity ratings in the polls.
It is ironic that Fine Gael may end up winning the next general election thanks in part to the toil of Mr Noonan. Back in 2002, we nodded our heads idealistically as we listened to Bertie Ahern declare that historians would view his first five years in government as a golden age in Irish history. But in 2010, it does not appear that the Celtic Tiger was much of a golden age at all. It was more like an era of recklessness that served as a prelude to a dark age of financial ruin.
Once vanquished in a crushing defeat at the hands of Fianna Fail, Mr Noonan has arisen once again to become one of Ireland's most prominent and influential politicians. I only wish that the Irish people had been just as wise back in 2002 as they are today.