This has always been standard (IM)FF strategy. When they are in trouble, they send a poor, auld harmless slob onto the media to mop up for them. An amadán with big puppy-dog eyes like Carey, Ó Cuív, Martin or in this case Smith who people will say "Ah sure Jaysus, he's not the worst", and women around the country would love to take home for a good dinner and comb his hair, God look on the poor Divil.....Smith is Agriculture Minister. What is doing on the programme.
That's because a frightening number of people think that Bertie created wealth rather than just borrowed it, they blame Cowen but do not connect Bertie to the current mess. I'm not sure what it will take to make the Irish politically aware, probably horror we can't comprehend. Yet.Ferriter is forgetting Cowan's predecessor: the sleaziest gombeen this country has ever produced.