Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An update on all the people not running for Liberal leadership - Part 2

Yesterday, I looked at the ten names being tossed around most frequently for Liberal leadership - Rae, Leblanc, Trudeau, McGuinty^2, Garneau, Brison, Coderre, Cauchon, and Kennedy.

Today, a look at some long-shot candidates.

Mark Carney: The Bank of Canada governor would have instant credibility on the economy and, unlike many bankers, he's not uncharismatic. There is, of course, still the question of whether or not he's a Liberal - but no one seems too concerned about that.

Naheed Nenshi: The superstar Mayor of Calgary set Twitter abuzz when he tried out his French at a Toronto speech last year. I'd love to see Naheed toss his cowboy hat into the ring, but we're still 5 or 10 years away from having this conversation. At the rate we're going, the Liberals will have cycled through another three leaders by the time Nenshi is ready to run.

Gregor Robertson: Like Nenshi, the assumption is that Vancouver's Mayor will one day run provincially or federally. Yes, he was an NDP MLA provincially, but that's never stopped anyone from running for Liberal leader before, nor should it.

Ralph Goodale: There's a movement afoot to convince Goodale to run. Admittedly, his age and his french would make him a long shot, but the race would benefit immensely by having a Western Canadian of his stature in it.

Amanda Lang: To the best of my knowledge, there is only one Liberal in the country floating her name as a possible leadership candidate, but it may not be as far fetched as it sounds. We've seen media personalities jump to politics before, and as a business reporter she could make the economy her issue. And hey, her dad was a Liberal MP! I have no idea how she'd fare in the political game, but the idea of a well-spoken, attractive 41 year old woman from Manitoba leading the party certainly sounds good on paper.

Mark Holland: Young and fiery, Holland can give one heck of a speech. Even if he doesn't run for leader, I'd be shocked if he doesn't try to win back his seat in 2015.

Navdeep Bains: Another young star who lost his seat last May. Bains could count on widespread support from the Sikh community if he ran.

Martha Hall Findlay: Rev up the engine on the big red bus! The darling of the 2006 leadership race would enter this contest with a higher profile and would be treated as a "top tier" candidate by the media out of the gate.

Siobhan Coady: Any tour of "defeated rising stars" should include Coady, a well liked MP who can ask tough questions with emotion and confidence.

Geoff Regan: As a Liberal MP who has been in Ottawa for a decade and is still young enough to run, Regan should not be overlooked. Jane Taber recently floated his name as a possible candidate.

Jane Stewart: She's an accomplished women, with an impressive resume inside and outside of politics. As the "Draft Jane" team says, "everybody loves Jane". She's said she isn't running, but so has everyone else - we may yet get a "See Jane Run" headline or two.

Sheila Copps: She ran her presidential campaign as if she was running for leader. Even though she didn't win, she raised her profile and put a team together - two things that could be useful should she decide to try for the top prize again.

Jean-Marc Fournier: It wouldn't surprise me to see a provincial politician jump into this race, a la Kennedy in 2006, and Fournier is the name I've heard the most rumours about. Quebec's Justice Minister worked in Michael Ignatieff's office so he has federal connections to complement his 15 years of experience in provincial politics. Of course, with a resume like this, he might have his sights set on Jean Charest's job.

Borys Wrzesnewskyj: The Epoch Times, the must-read source for all your Liberal leadership gossip, reported that Wrzesnewskyj is planning a leadership bid, much to the horror of journalists everywhere who will now need to learn how to spell and pronounce his name.

Robert Ghiz: The 37 year old Premier of PEI has said "never say no" but wants to spend time with his two young children.

Belinda Stronach: She made some noise prior to the convention, so I wouldn't rule out a return to politics.

Andrew Coyne: There are Facebook ads and buttons, making this the best funded campaign to date.

Frank McKenna: You all knew this was coming as the punch line. Yet two commenters on David Akin's blog and one delegate I talked to in Ottawa suggested McKenna un-ironically. Some rumours will never die...

That's 28 names I've floated over the past two days, and I expect we'll hear a few others before all is said and done. By all means, float some more in the comments section.

Given the mood for change in the Liberal Party, it wouldn't at all surprise me if someone we're not even talking about ends up winning this thing.

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