For many commentators across the country Justin Trudeau's official entry in the Liberal leadership campaign was one that lacked substance.
Sure, they noted, he has the legendary name. He is young. He is charismatic. And he is fluent in both official languages.
But what of policy? Can the new darling of the troubled Liberal Party of Canada offer something substantive to Canadians as they wrestle the ongoing trials of the post-recession era?
Not at this time, no. But opinion makers in the land should take note of former Prime Minster Brian Mulroney's words last week.
“People who underestimate him, they do so at their own peril,” said Mulroney.
He is right. The 40-year-old Trudeau has already shown political savvy. When he first ran in the 2008 federal campaign he chose not to enter through a safe Liberal seat in Quebec. Instead he went straight into the separatist heartland. Trudeau chose the riding of Papineau that was held by popular Bloc Quebecois MP Vivian Barbot, the separatist party's vice-president. He won by more than 1,000 votes. In 2011, Trudeau beat off the NDP's Orange Wave and retained his seat by more than 4,000 votes.
The young Trudeau clearly knows how to win. For more proof ask Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau. Trudeau beat the odds again by thumping the Tory earlier this year in a much-publicized charity boxing match.
So Trudeau is a winner but what does that mean in the West where the Liberals are as credible as Gary Bettman is to diehard hockey fans.
Despite the Liberals' dreadful record in Alberta for more than three decades, provincial voters have proved it is not afraid to think outside the box come election time.
Calgary elected Naheed Nenshi as its 36th mayor in 2010. Nenshi became the first Muslim to become mayor of a major Canadian city. Earlier this year in the provincial election campaign editorial writers had the right-wing Wildrose Party as the certain winners. They are going to win, said the pundits, because the Tories have given up on traditional conservative values and are pandering to the left-leaning social reform lobby.
The Wildrose was not only defeated on election day, they were crushed by the Tories who were led by a lady, Alison Redford – Alberta's first woman premier.
It has been more than 30 years since anger first broke out in Alberta over the hated National Energy Program, an initiative created by Trudeau's father.
The question is now whether Albertans are ready to finally forgive the Liberals for perceived misdeeds a generation ago. For sure, the Grits certainly have to put more than just Trudeau's pretty face before Alberta's electorate. They have to be organized. This is a party that had to parachute a candidate into the Red Deer riding late for the last federal election.
But the Grits have the young Trudeau sizing up Alberta within a day of announcing his candidacy. He was in Calgary last week ready to roll.
“I have nothing to do with the National Energy Program. I was 10 years old,” said Trudeau of the issue forever casting a shadow over the Grits.
It was hardly substance but Trudeau did not blow his start out of the western gate.
For the Liberals that can be seen as an accomplishment.