McKenna or LeBlanc?

The word late tonight is that either Frank McKenna or Dominic Leblanc will be entering the race to replace Stephane Dion as leader of the federal Liberal party. McKenna has stated to friends that he’s not particularly interested at this time, and I’ve learned that McKenna feels that with the economy in its current shape, he doesn’t want to challenge Harper in the current economic climate (in other words, he doesn’t want to strike at the confidence of Canadians by challenging the PM’s direction on the economy as the head of TD Bank). A partner at McInnes Cooper, McKenna’s former law firm has confidence that McKenna will enter the race, however, others have told me that the former New Brunswick premier will not be leaving the corporate sector to rebuild a party’s finances and ideology from the ground up.

This is good news for Dominic LeBlanc, who covets the top job of Trudeau’s party. LeBlanc would have likely deferred to McKenna if the elder New Brunswicker wanted to throw his hat into the ring. However, with McKenna not interested in the top job, this clears the way for Leblanc. If Leblanc enters the fray, I’m hearing that he’ll have the support of Justin Trudeau and the organizational muscle of Paul Martin’s team. Martin’s braintrust includes Liberal Party heavyweight Steve MacKinnon, who is close to McKenna. An alternative theory is that Leblanc is entering the race on McKenna’s behalf as a stalking horse to build the organization and team for a late entry by the former Premier.

Comments

comments

  • http://climbingoutofthedark.blogspot.com Hunter

    So Dominic can win what exactly? Atlantic Canada and Quebec? No one knows who he is out here in the west. How is he going to get our votes? The Liberals have big problems because only political junkies know who Dominic is and as far as McKenna, talk about rising from the ashes, or is that young Trudeaubama. Who might run from the west besides Hedy, Ujjal? HA, he couldn't win in BC let alone in the rest of Canada.

    No one so far, can win the west, and the Liberals better not fool themselves into thinking the west doesn't count.

  • Gabby in QC

    Leblanc a stalking horse for McKenna? I doubt it.
    Mr. Leblanc has that certain Liberal “je ne sais quoi” – flashing smiles but piercing cold calculating eyes.
    He's also perfectly bilingual.
    McKenna is not. Two Norms agree with me.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RT

  • Clown Party of Canada

    Hunter said: “No one so far, can win the west, and the Liberals better not fool themselves into thinking the west doesn't count.”

    Problem is, Hunter, the LIEberals do not need the West or desire to even recognize the West. All they need is the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario. The proof of the LIEberals, under DeYawn, is their insistance in keeping the farmers under the Canadian Wheat Board – while the rest of Canada can sell their grain on the free market – and to take the money from Alberta and saskatchewan oil production. [If they hate the oil and gas so much they should cut it off at Thunder Bay.]

    I hear that the Seperatists parties will grow instantly if the LIEberals get in. So much for unity.

    A good example is the Alberta Liberal Party. I wrote them and told them that as long as the word “Liberal” is used they will never get in power. They constantly say they do not agree with the Federal LIEberals, yet the tarnished name will haunt them.

  • gimbol

    My money is on the later prognostication.

    My POV is that the LPC is on a precipiece. The next leader has such a hurdle to overcome just getting the party out of hock before the next election, unifying the party, and getting something together policywise that voters can actually support, the leadership is basically a caretaker position….not something a guy like McKenna is drawn to….its the legacy thing.
    Not one heavyweight liberal wants the job if they don't see a chance of becoming PM.
    For example, JT basically quashed any chances for the job when he responded “not a chance in hell”.

  • Liz J

    C'mon, is that all there is? Is it really that bad?

    McKenna is just doing what he did last effort to woo him, enjoying the coaxing and playing coy before he says no.
    At least Tobin knows better, he said no right away. LeBlanc doesn't appear to be leadership material but he could join the crap shoot like the Dosanjh, who MAY have lost his seat if all votes were recounted. They'll go on to play the delegate game and end up with another fiasco. The Liberals have a long way to go to be fit to govern the country, they can't organize themselves, the divide is still there with different players. It's the Liberal way thanks to Chretien and Martin, it'll be tough to break free any time soon.

  • Lycan Stark

    The “winning conditions” are just never going to be just right for Mckenna, are they?

  • Gary

    Stalking horse, that is.

  • Davide

    “organizational muscle of Paul Martin’s team.”

    There's a sure fire winner for you. At some point, you would think, they wold get rid of those guys ……

  • MF

    Babyface Leblanc?

    Not a chance.

  • Soccermom

    Can Dosanjh speak French. I doubt it very much. That eliminates him.

    How old is this boy wonder, Dominic Leblanc. I don't think he has enough life experience under his belt to be taken seriously.

  • http://vollman.blogspot.com Robert V

    Don't you consider the use of the term LIEberal as insulting?

  • Beer and Popcorn

    I think that the Liberals are equally as regional right now as the Bloc.

    In the Toronto races I observed most of the Liberal MP's seemed to dismiss the rest of Canada as their hick cousins and instead reflected on Toronto-specific issues and barely mentioned the national party. This can't continue for the health of the party as not only did the Toronto MP's ignore national issues, but national voters also largely ignored the Liberal$ outside of Toronto.

    The next leader of the party needs to be a Westerner. How about David Orchard? Watch this clip – it's hillarious!

    http://watch.ctv.ca/news/mike-duffy-live/tuesda

  • Gabby in QC

    Don’t underestimate a “Baby Face.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Face_Nelson ;-)

    And talking about Paul Martin … he’s doing the rounds promoting his “memoir” … today on three consecutive programs on Rad-Can:
    C’est bien meilleur le matin http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/emissions/emission.asp?numero=27
    Christiane Charette http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/christiane/
    And
    Maisonneuve en direct http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/maisonneuve/ (not yet updated at 11:37 am Oct 27)

    A lot of revisionism going on.

  • Gabby in QC

    Don’t underestimate a “Baby Face.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Face_Nelson ;-)

    And talking about Paul Martin … he’s doing the rounds promoting his “memoir” … today on three consecutive programs on Rad-Can:
    C’est bien meilleur le matin http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/emissions/emission.asp?numero=27
    Christiane Charette http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/christiane/
    And
    Maisonneuve en direct http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/maisonneuve/ (not yet updated at 11:37 am Oct 27)

    A lot of revisionism going on.

  • Bec

    Dominic Leblanc? Seriously? Well, well, well. Are they just looking for a “nice guy” image or someone with truthful substance? Guess it must be the nice guy image because truthful substance from the LIBS, has left the building.

  • jc kelan

    I suspect that McKenna would be a latter day John Turner. His return would be marred by too much rust – both political and in terms of his ability to speak French. I recall hearing him as Ambassdor and he was quite rough.

    As well, the party base, being more leftish than the electorate, would probably have strong reservations about his past opposition to abortion. If I recall correctly from his biography, his government fought in the courts against having to pay for these procedures.

    JC Kelan

  • Liz J

    Don't rule out Manley either, he may toss his hat in the ring of fire if conditions are right.

  • Observant

    The current batch of Liberals are a spent political force now … that's obvious. The have no stable of leadership hopefuls or an outstanding personality who can win over Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Maybe they should look outside the party for a distinguished Canadian who could lead them and rally Canadians to the Liberal cause. Any ideas ..??!!!

    Instead of looking for personalities or regional support, the Liberals should look at voting demographics that are blocking their path to power. By that I mean the lefty vote going to the NDP, because the uncommitted and stay-at-home vote just doesn't seem enough to put the Liberals over the top.

    Somebody within the Liberal party must think that Bob Rae can beat the Conservatives by bringing back the soft lefty vote to the Liberals, as well as improve the urban vote. Surely, Dipper voters must soon come to the realization that they are giving the government to the hated Conservatives as long as they vote NDP. Can Bob Rae bring the ABC Dipper vote into the Liberal fold come the next election .. early in 2009, after Obama sweeps into the Presidency perhaps? First Bush is gone, and then Harper follows if Canadians still love their Obamamania.

  • MaryT

    Lots of talk about Manley entering the race and how great a leader he would be and get a majority in the next election. First, he has the Martin/Chretain baggage. Second, it would depend on the candidates nominated to get in on his coattails. It has been said he does not need the west to get a majority. Until the liberals make the tough decision to get rid of all the old guard, Goodale, McCallum et al. They have a lot of rebuilding to do but seem to think a new leader will cure all problems.
    Things could take a bad turn if Charest loses his election. See he has stolen from PMSH the idea of talking to the other leaders. Thought Que was upset about a needless election and now they will have another one.
    He better accept that he will not get 700 million for tax breaks from PMSH this time.
    McKenna would lose because of his stand on abortion.

  • Gabby in QC

    Interesting discussion here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RT
    about whither the Liberal party.

    Personally, I'd rather it be “wither” – but that's just me.

    Seriously, I wouldn't discount Mr. Manley as a possible candidate.
    Lysiane Gagnon, on the other hand, believes Mr. Ignatieff would appeal to Quebecers.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RT

    Also, I wouldn't be too sure about PM Harper's invincibility if a “worthy” opponent comes on the scene, particularly if the economy worsens.
    The commentariat keeps bleating about the $12B the Conservatives supposedly squandered, apparently forgetting that had the Liberals remained in power – shudder – they would have needed those funds (from excessive taxation) to implement their vaunted programs: daycare, Kelowna, buying carbon credits to comply with Kyoto, among others.
    However, voters will simply look at how their own wallets are being affected, and never mind the subtleties or other facts.
    Hopefully all the doom and gloom about the economy will not prove to be true.

  • East of Eden

    Not really. It’s more realistic than Liberal. After all, they do lie and lie and lie.

  • East of Eden

    Not really. It’s more realistic than Liberal. After all, they do lie and lie and lie.

  • Kate Wilson

    I have known Dominic for a long time now. He has charisma and a sense of style. He relates well to all age groups. I live in his riding in the summer, infact he is down the beach from us. I am torn between supporting Bob Rae(again) or Dominique. Dominique is refreshing and I can see why our youth would be attracted to him. These are definite attributes. But as other bloggers have noted, he is an unknown to many, especially in the West. He will have to gain a breadth and depth of knowledge to ensure supporters of his ability to tackle the economic crisis and to deal with complex foreign affiars issues, including thewar. He definitely has appeal and this attempt to win the leadership will raise his profile ; even if he does not win him the leadership,build a solid base and gain the skills and knowledge he will need as leader and PM.

  • Kate Wilson

    I have known Dominic for a long time now. He has charisma and a sense of style. He relates well to all age groups. I live in his riding in the summer, infact he is down the beach from us. I am torn between supporting Bob Rae(again) or Dominique. Dominique is refreshing and I can see why our youth would be attracted to him. These are definite attributes. But as other bloggers have noted, he is an unknown to many, especially in the West. He will have to gain a breadth and depth of knowledge to ensure supporters of his ability to tackle the economic crisis and to deal with complex foreign affiars issues, including thewar. He definitely has appeal and this attempt to win the leadership will raise his profile ; even if he does not win him the leadership,build a solid base and gain the skills and knowledge he will need as leader and PM.