The Big M
McKenna, Manley already laying groundwork for Liberal leadership?
By JANE TABER
January 3, 2006
Globe and Mail
The body isn't even warm yet, and already there are at least two senior Liberals -- Frank McKenna and John Manley -- who insiders say are quietly gearing up their leadership campaigns. The fact this is happening is an indication that some Liberals think Paul Martin's campaign is in deep trouble.
Indeed, at least one senior Liberal was stunned when the phone rang just before Christmas and Mr. McKenna was on the other end. The Canadian ambassador to the United States, and more important, the man who is rumoured to want to succeed Mr. Martin, is calling around to well-connected Liberals. In his so-called "holiday call" he did not specifically mention a possible leadership bid, but the insider said that was clearly the subtext.
In fact, Mr. McKenna, a former New Brunswick premier, did not ask directly for support, but was told by the insider that he could count on his help if he decides to seek the leadership. Other Liberals have expressed similar sentiments. Mr. McKenna is, said the insider, also careful to mention that there is no race "yet."
Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister, finance minister, foreign affairs minister and industry minister John Manley is holding a $200-a-ticket fundraiser for Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal candidate Lee Farnworth on Jan. 19. He is the guest speaker -- and laying the groundwork for his future?