Monday, November 09, 2009

Frank McKenna's Perpetually Ajar Door

With today's "McKenna keeps door ajar" headline sure to generate some buzz, perhaps it's time for a stroll down memory lane.

1989: Ontario Premier David Peterson interrupted a brief vacation with Frank McKenna Tuesday to suggest that the New Brunswick premier should run for the federal Liberal leadership.

1990: Whispers about McKenna's interest in replacing John Turner have been growing in New Brunswick in recent weeks because the premier is shopping for a new speech writer.

1997: Journalist Allan Fotheringham, who reported this in the Financial Post, suggested the Martinites regard former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna as a real danger, though it's hard to see the country choosing a man so earnest and eager to please.

1998: Frank McKenna, the political wunderkind who ran New Brunswick for a decade and is still only 50, might be persuaded to leave the corporate world and go into federal politics, where he was once expected to go.

2002: The former premier of New Brunswick, Frank McKenna, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

2003: Mr. McKenna, who attended the Liberal convention briefly last week and didn't rule out running.

2004: McKenna has made it clear that while he wants to run for election in a seat in the Moncton area, he does not want to fight for the nomination with an incumbent MP.

August 2005: Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna, is seen as the prime contender to replace Prime Minister Paul Martin.

December 2005: Topping everyone's list of heirs-apparent is Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna.

January 2006: 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.

January 2006: A longtime friend and political ally of McKenna's said the former premier is a "political addict" and will be very tempted to plunge into the leadership contest.

May 2006: A source, however, told The Hill Times that "don't be surprised if you see the draft [Frank] McKenna campaign by late July" if none of these official Liberal candidates emerges as a clear front-runner.

July 2006: If you ask some Liberals whom, among the 11 candidates, is going to win the
leadership campaign, the answer is now the twelfth, Frank McKenna.

October 2008: McKenna Eyeing Liberal leadership: source

October 2008: "I don’t think the people who are putting his name out there are doing it without some indication that he wants it out there," one Liberal said Thursday.

November 2009: And he said the door - which always has been slightly ajar since he left elected office - is still open for a return to public life. "It's fair to say that door is ajar, but I don't say that in a kind of tantalizing way," McKenna said.

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  • I honestly never understood the LPC's fever-pitch fascination with McKenna; his tenure as premier of New Brunswick makes Mike Harris look like a progressive in comparison. Given the oft-repeated notion that the federal Liberals desperately need to do something to differentiate themselves from the Tories, I'm not sure that picking the guy who has jokingly been referred to as "New Brunswick's best Tory premier" is the way to go. McKenna was a staunch fiscal AND social conservative - he even attempted to shut down NB's only abortion clinic - so I'm not quite sure what it is about him that makes Liberals salivate at the mention of his name.

    By Blogger daniel, at 7:04 p.m.  

  • That's a good bit of research BTW.

    The timing seems very odd. Iggy wanted to force an election about 3 weeks ago and then someone openly muses about a return to perhaps run for the Lib. leadership. This is yet another hint that Iggy's leadership is on life support.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:26 p.m.  

  • Anon - I suspect it has more to do with the McKenna bio being released than Iggy's leadership.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:23 p.m.  

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