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Brief thoughts on Bob Rae running or not running

There was a bit of a dustup online (amongst Liberals anyhow) over this story CBC broke yesterday:

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae will be permitted to run in his party’s leadership race and he is expected to enter the race, CBC News has learned…Party President Mike Crawley said a motion will be presented next Wednesday “to clarify how Rae could put himself forward as a candidate.”

The main debate raging seems to be over Bob breaking his word last year he would not put himself forward as a candidate for the permanent leader position (and you can find that quote of his very easily – at Macleans for one from […]

Polls: Bob Rae may be gaining support, and marijuana is popular

Those are the findings of one specific poll. First the poll #’s and the pollster’s speculation:

Buoyed by high approval ratings for interim leader Bob Rae, support for the federal Liberals is on the rise, according to a new poll. The Forum Research survey found support for Rae’s Liberals at 25 per cent, a four-point increase since the pollster’s last survey in mid-December. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives received 35 per cent, Nycole Turmel’s NDP had 28 per cent, while the Bloc Québécois and Green Party earned 6 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively….Bozinoff suggested the Liberals’ popularity increase may be attributed to Rae — the interim leader’s net […]

Rae the reformer?

Bob Rae said a couple of very interesting things regarding the reform and rebuilding of the Liberal Party over the weekend that caught my eye – the main one being his idea of opening up the LPC leadership race to a US primary style – but also his criticism of the riding structure:

Rae said the party must broaden its membership base, starting with taking membership forms out of the hands of riding presidents and the party’s provincial wings. “Ridings should not be controlled by small cliques or by people who try to keep people out because they’re afraid of losing control.”

…Rae indicated his own support for allowing “all […]

Bob talks to bloggers.

So, the blogchat with Bob Rae has just ended about 15 minutes ago. Bob took our questions for about 35 minutes, and the session was well attended by many well known Liberal bloggers. If you’re a regular reader of Liblogs or Progressive Bloggers, I’m sure you’ll see their accounts soon on their blogs popping up. I won’t steal all their thunder, but I’ll focus on 2 issues that Bob addressed from myself and a couple of other bloggers that I was paying close attention to:

– With regards to the post-Green Shift postmortem, it sounds to me that he believes still in the environmental goals and issues that the Liberal […]

Rae Day

So Bob Rae has officially announced his candidacy for leader of the Liberal Party, which Kady is live-blogging the news conference where he’s doing the announcing.

Later today, Mr. Rae will be holding a “bloggers news conference” which apparently has Liberal bloggers of all persuasion invited, regardless of who they are supporting. As someone who is undeclared/neutral, it should be an interesting event, to hear what the bloggers ask him, and what his responses are – particularly to Liberal bloggers who’ve already endorsed another candidate.

(And yes, I do have a question in mind to ask him if I get a chance to ask it).

And then there were 2.

..leadership candidates for the liberal Party that is.

Rae to run for Liberal leadership

That makes Rae and Dominic Leblanc the only official 2 candidates for the Liberal leadership so far. Apparently, the Globe and Mail story today that claimed Rae had told friends he was thinking of NOT running probably tipped his hand.

UPDATE: Just heard from someone I know in Quebec that Rae went on RDI and confirmed he was running. Not the best time in the news cycle on a Friday to be announcing your candidacy, but he probably felt he had no choice with the “not running” rumours swirling around.

I’ve met Mr. Rae before […]

Spending the evening with Bob Rae and Martha Dennis.

I had an interesting Wednesday evening in Woodstock. Bob Rae was in town spending some of the day with Oxford Liberal candidate Martha Dennis. They were involved with a round-table in the afternoon with some of Oxford County’s town mayors, and other community and social leaders. They then moved to a gathering at a local Liberal’s home for a little get-together/fund-raising event for Martha. There were about 40-50 people in attendance for this, and there were people there from Woodstock, Tillsonburg and some points in between.

Here’s some photographic evidence that I was at the event, and the proof that Bob Rae is much more photogenic then I am. Also, a photo of Bob and Martha addressing the gathering.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have a blackberry or a laptop, so I wasn’t able to live-blog the remarks made to the crowd, but I liked what Bob had to say to the gathering, particularly the part where he said he will be pressing for an election as soon as possible when the House resumes sitting was very nice for an election hawk like myself to hear.

He also mentioned that it was very important in Conservative-held ridings that we mount serious challenges to the incumbent to try and wrest the seat away from them; that is what he feels the Liberals focus should be in Ontario. Oxford County is a traditional Conservative riding, and won’t be easy to wrest away, but I liked that part of his speech last night, which was the Liberals shouldn’t be conceding these traditional Conservative seats. This is similar to Democratic chairperson Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy” in the US, which is they run hard in every state at the presidential and congressional level and don’t concede any state or race to the other side. I am all for that strategy here.

As Bob said last night, he holds no personal animosity towards our current Conservative MP, Dave Mackenzie, but we need to get him out of here.

More pictures from the event can and will be seen at the Martha Dennis for Oxford Facebook group.

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