Bigcitylib says that when Rae stepped down as Ontario premier he "left this province a smoking wreck". What a lot of rot. We were in pretty terrible shape after the years of Mike Harris, who polarized the province, slashed civil servant jobs, decimated the health system, and shot Indians... that was a shameful and scary time for our province. When Bob left, we had a howlingly mad NDP base (unions especially) who heard a big Ka-CHING when he won and got pissed when he didn't give them everything they wanted. The province was not in bad shape. He brought in tons of great initiatives. (See my own Rae endorsement for some details on that.)
Krydor says a Rae leadership win would guarantee a conservative majority, with the Liberals losing seats especially in Toronto. I don't know what the polls are. Bob Rae is really unpopular with some members of the civil servant and teacher's unions and the NDP base essentially tossed him out of office, but he is respected by most of the people I know in southern Ontario and Toronto. Also, Rae is able to address this issue. He is no apologist (as another commenter on the site implied). Rae says that his time as premier proves that he can weather tough times. He says that during the recession he governed through (which, by the way, was the worst since the Great Depression), he maintained investment, saved numerous companies, and maintained and in some cases expanded social programs. I think he can make his case to Ontarians.
Louise is less inflammatory but describes Rae's election as Ontario premier as "sort of a fluke". It was unexpected for sure and he took advantage of voter disgruntlement about an early election call, but Rae won because of his powerful, charismatic campaign style. Watch him go sometime. He's got the intelligence, knowledge and persuasiveness of Bill Clinton without the credibility problem. He draws people in and fires them up. If it's a fluke, it's one he's pulled off over and over in his political career, and he can do it again.