Who said the following?

“I will tell you why I am confident about this election… why I’m confident. It is because [my opponent] does not have the courage to face me, and to debate with me. He knows he cannot win. So, he invented an opponent, and he’s fighting this opponent. He’s fighting a shadow. But his real opponent is here, and I will take him.”

When you’re done laughing at Stephane Dion’s hubris, check in with who is really sparring with a invented opponent.

Stephane Dion raises expectations of his debate performances

More than a year ago Stephane Dion predicted that he will be victorious in both the French and English leaders debate that Canadians will watch tonight and tomorrow night on the television networks.

Also, on the popular French-language show Tout le Monde en Parle just a few days ago on September 28th, the following exchange took place,

GUY A. LEPAGE: Les débats des chefs en français et en anglais auront lieu les 1er et 2 octobre prochain. On vous reproche beaucoup de ne pas bien maîtriser la langue de Shakespeare. C’est votre premier débat comme chef libéral. “Aren’t you afraid that your lack of knowledge of the English could be a handicap in this campaign?”

STÉPHANE DION: Yes, je n’ai pas compris. Non, ce que je dirais là-dessus, c’est que moi je dis la vérité bien mieux en français et en anglais que Stephen Harper et pour ça je vais gagner les débats. (“On that, I would say that I speak the truth better in French and in English than Stephen Harper and it’s for that reason that I will win the debates”)

Stephane Dion has confirmed his debate prediction that he made over one year ago; the Liberal leader predicts he will win both English and French language debates. Now that Dion has set the bar high for himself, should he fail to win both debates will the press note that he failed to meet his expectations? Will the Liberal war-room fool anyone when they claim Dion “clearly won tonight’s debate”? What are you expecting from tonight’s French language debate?