While Kim Swan's statements regarding the PLP leadership campaign will have no real impact on the race they do provide two positives in my opinion.
Firstly they help in some small way to fight the idea that some in the PLP seem to have that this campaign should be fought completely internally without the sunlight of wider public scrutiny. It promotes discussion on the points made both within the PLP (even if it is simply to slam down the points made and insult the point maker) and within the community as a whole. Since eventually the winner is going to be the premier of the entire country it can't hurt to discuss the candidates even if we have no actual voice in the selection process.
Secondly they give us an opportunity to gauge the way the candidates would interact with political opponents as Premier. We all know how Dr. Brown dealt with criticism from the opposition in the past and I think most people agree that the kind of petty fighting that it encouraged were bad for Bermuda as a whole. While we have yet to see Lister or Cox make any break from that style I found it very interesting that Butler responded to today's reported statement in this way: "As an astute Bermudian, we will take your wide ranging views into consideration as we reflect on action that is needed after all is said and done". That's something more than the usual Shut Up response that we have gotten used to and I can't help but respect Butler more for it.
With the incredibly divisive political landscape in Bermuda perhaps a Premier that can bring people closer together and promote cooperation is exactly what we need and Butler seems to be that kind of person. Unfortunately it seems Butler is a distant third with no chance which is a shame. Perhaps he could do some good as Deputy Premier?