Bernard Lord's career in provincial politics is over at the tender age of 41. Obviously, he's still got a good 2o to 30 years to devote to politics. The fact that he has twice been scouted to run for leadership of the federal Conservatives probably bodes well for his future success; on the other hand, provincial politicians have a dismal record as leaders of federal parties. Add to that the fact that Lord lost the last election, and before that barely held on to his majority (by one seat), and Lord's stock just isn't as high as it was two or four years ago. A run in federal politics is almost certain for Lord - a former premier retiring at age 41? I don't think so - but he may have missed the boat.
He could probably have been annointed federal PC leader in 2003, and he is one of the only people in Canada who could have beaten Stephen Harper for the Conservative leadership in 2004. Now? He'll have a harder time of it. If he runs for the federal Conservative leadership next time around (which is still very likely) he will have a harder time winning. He'll still have a decent chance of course - let's not overestimate the talent in the Conservative party; Lord could well be the best they can do - but the cold hard fact is: he lost. The once-untouchable Bernard Lord is now damaged goods.