Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Globe: McKenna mulling leadership bid

According to the Globe and Mail today, the race for the new leader of the Liberal Party has already started to intensify as pressure builds on former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna to run for the leadership.

Although some close to Mr. McKenna were saying just a few days ago that his candidacy was unlikely, he is mulling it over more seriously as several senior Liberals have mounted a draft campaign, they said.

“Frank has just been bombarded with missives from people all across the country trying to persuade him to run, and he's in the throes of reflecting on all of that,” said former Ontario premier David Peterson, a long-time friend of Mr. McKenna.

Mr. McKenna's entry into the race would probably make a big splash, and make a contest that so far is shaping up with two front-runners – Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae – into a three-way fight.

But Mr. McKenna has repeatedly turned down efforts to draw him into federal politics, including a refusal to run for the Liberal leadership in 2006 in which he virtually ruled out a return to politics.

Mr. Peterson, who was Ontario co-chair of Mr. Ignatieff's last leadership campaign, is one of several senior Liberals pushing him to run this time.

Several others, who spoke on condition they not be named, said Mr. McKenna is showing an increased level of interest in running, asking hard questions about the feasibility of mounting a successful bid.

Mr. McKenna, 60, now vice-chairman of the TD Bank, also has to decide if he wants to make the personal and family sacrifices required for a high-profile leadership bid.

But there are no indications he has started to organize, and at least one MP who would expect an early stage call seeking his support said he has not been contacted.

“Yes, there are people around him and around me that have told me that he's increasingly interested,” said Moncton MP Brian Murphy, who supported Mr. Rae in the last race, but hasn't backed anyone for the coming contest.

If Mr. McKenna did enter the race, his support among key players in the business community would probably mean he could raise money more easily than most.
What does that mean? We need to ramp up efforts to encourage him to run. Please join the Facebook Group, send Frank a letter or email, encourage others to do so.


Kieran said...

If you have an email contact please post it so we can send our own notes of pelading and encouragement.

Frank4PM said...

It's in the profile or the Facebook Page, but here you go: frank4pm [at]

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