05.19.2011 01:32 PM

Rae of good news

OTTAWA – Bob Rae has decided he won’t take a third shot at becoming permanent leader of the federal Liberal party.

Instead, sources have told The Canadian Press the Toronto MP is about to announce his interest in becoming interim leader until a permanent successor to Michael Ignatieff is chosen some 18 months from now.



  1. Ted says:

    With Rae dropping out of the leadership race, we should be quick to rally around him as interim leader. I would not have supported him for leader, but no one fits the bill better for interim leader for many reasons.

    Which talents include: the best retail politician in the House, the best communicator in the House, one of the best instant response/quick political instincts in the House, great with media (getting attention as 3rd party will be very hard)…, great with words, fluently bilingual, leadership experience, personal contacts across the whole country (inside and outside the party). He can carry on in the House with clarity and authority, while the party picks a leader.

    Personal baggage won’t matter since he’s not going into an election as leader.See More

    • AmandaM says:

      No. Absolutely not. This attitude that he has…”aw shucks, I guess I can be interim…” is do disingenuous. He is NOT the right choice.

      Anyway, the issue is this: in order to remain relevant, the Liberal Party in all of it’s incarnations needs to retain as many Premierships as possible. Remember the reason why SO MANY McGuinty Liberals voted CPC in Ontario – terror of an NDP minority government in Ottawa. Why are Ontarians fearful of that? Because of Bob Rae. And if my friends and colleagues and family members are any indication (despite my career in government, political and public affairs), the vast majority of the population does not understand the difference between federal and provincial parties, and believe they are all cut from the same cloth.

      Bottom line: Ontarians will run, not walk, away from Premier McGuinty and the Liberal Party of Ontario if Mr. Rae is the leader of the federal Liberals. Parliament will be in session during the writ period in Ontario (and across the country), and Mr. Rae’s face and quotes will be in the papers constantly.

      Mr. Rae would be the worst mistake right now. I can’t even imagine.

      • JenS says:

        I share this concern. I don’t think anyone who didn’t live here at the time can understand the level of anti-Rae sentiment that exists. Even if it’s not deserved, it’s there.

      • Derek Pearce says:

        So knowing full well that he’s gone in 2 years, and that even if he was to be silly and try to run he’d lose, is still enough to make you shudder? By being interim leader of a 3rd place party with no chance to lead in the next election? Believe me, interim means interim– the party is asking him to tough it out and be a good captain while stuff is worked out– and will thank him for that and then never allow him to lead through an election.

        • JenS says:

          I think maybe you’re missing the point, which is that the typical voter doesn’t really separate the provincial and federal iterations, and having Rae at the helm on the federal side could have a negative impact on Lib chances in the provincial election that, really, thanks to fixed dates, already is being campaigned for. And holding on to provincial government has potential implications on the federal side, too. It’s not a matter of interim vs permanent. It’s a matter of the immediate implication possible at the provincial level.

  2. michael hale says:

    now everyone else who has run for leadership before should make the same commitment. new blood, please.

  3. Chris says:

    Thank God. One less thing to argue about.

  4. wannabeapiper says:

    Right and that is because after his interim leadership expires he will trot across the floor to join Steve.

  5. VH says:

    Liberal “rebuilding” instructions (note: must be 8 years or older to operate)

    1. Find the most hated premier in recent history from the largest province in the country.
    2. Elect him leader. This will show the average citizen that the party is listening to them and taking it seriously.
    3. ??
    4. Success!

    Harper must be pinching himself today with his political good fortune. First Dion, then Ignatieff, now this.

    • DL says:

      “Find the most hated premier in recent history from the largest province in the country.”

      Mike Harris is becoming the Liberals’ interim leader? Who knew?

    • Derek Pearce says:

      #3 should read as follows: shake up the party executive, fundraising apparatus, take a hard look at new policies, and select a leader with no baggage. #4 should read: no guarantee of success. I think those that are sticking around know this is now a 10 year project.

  6. Nuna D. Above says:

    Bob Rae is unique in Canadian political history, having destroyed three parties. First he destroyed the NDP with his disaster in governing Ontario. Having crushed the NDP, he sent Ontario into the waiting arms of the Chretien Liberals, destroying the Progressive Conservative party instead of maybe allowing them to save some seats through Liberal/NDP vote splitting.
    During the recent federal election, one of the pollsters, Nanos I think, reported in the last days of the election there was a ten point shift from the Liberals to the Conservatives. Memories of Rae had Ontario going Conservative to block a surging NDP. Rae must have quite the ego to think his record doesn’t mean anything.

    • kitt says:

      WOW! Who knew Bob Rae not only have a great butt but was such a powerful politician! He did all that??? OOOOO

    • JStanton says:

      …. not to worry bud, your special rapture day is immanent anyway. Please make sure that Mr. harper does’nt come back.


    • Dave says:

      What record? Deficit and debt? Jesus, Ontario voters just REWARDED Harper for far greater fiscal imprudence than Bob Rae’s NDP ever committed.

    • Nuna, you’re dead wrong. Here’s why: Bob Rae is easily the most talented, experienced and deeply passionate politician on the Liberal bench. In his media release at the close of the Air India bombing commission, he showed to all who heard him that this was not just another consulting gig for him. If you heard that speech, you would understand why you are so off base. The man cares, and he uses his real name in debates. He was one of the first politicians anywhere to publicly welcome Salman Rushdie soon after the death fatwa was declared by the Ayatollah. You can’t even use your real name on a blog. When it comes to courage, Mr. Nuna D. Above, how do you think you compare to Bob Rae?

  7. Michael says:

    Well the Liberals can’t choose Marc Garneau as interim leader. The Conservatives already have attack ads ready to go for him.

    “Marc Garneau, he didn’t come back to earth for you”


  8. Derek Pearce says:

    I rejoined the party for the first time in literally 10 years today. I’m looking forward to rebuilding, and this is icing on the cake. Glad to see Rae agree to this, and while I didn’t want him to run in 2 years, I sincerely think he’ll be an absolutely excellent interim leader.

    • Philip says:

      Good to have you on board. I’m starting to look forward to the task now. There is a lot of good people out there who are ready to lend a hand.

    • Garry says:

      10 years? You really take the ‘sell high buy low approach’ to extremes, no?

      • Derek Pearce says:

        Ha! Yes, that sounds very true. It’s more like I, like many many other Liberals, got complacent. “There’ll always be a Liberal Party,” thought I, and certainly couldn’t have conceived even 6 weeks ago 3rd party status. I woke the hell up fast and know two other people (one of whom hasn’t been a member since the 1980s) who also woke up and have joined or rejoined.

      • Derek Pearce says:

        May I also add that I left 10 years ago not out of disatisfaction with Chretien, but over party processes. Being at Riding Association meetings– although most of the individuals were lovely people– for me felt too going-through-the-motions, with the input of individual members not mattering much. Policy felt a touch dictated rather than truly discussed. This has to change, and I’m willing to give it another kick at the can to see if it does.

        • Garry says:

          Sounds to me like you’re the kind of guy the LPOC needs to have back in the fold. Alas, not holding my breath that it will matter much as many of those left in Ottawa are not familiar with the concept of ‘Rock Bottom’. If this ain’t rock bottom you can at least see it from here I’d say and there are still too many people with their head firmly entrenched in their arse to realize it. Good luck to you.

  9. Patrick Hamilton says:

    As a new Liberal Party member, I have no issue with Bob Rae. During the first leadership campaign, I attended a leaders debate at the invitation of a former fellow Progressive Conservative at the UBC Chan Centre. I had no pre-conceived notions of any of the leaders, nor any intention of joining the party at that time, so I felt I listened to the debate with an open mind.
    Of all the candidates, I thought Bob Rae connected best with the audience. His folksy style, charm, and obvious intelligence definately won me over.
    I know he is the best person to get our party on a sound footing again, and I know he will get the job done.

  10. AB Observer says:

    I just talked to a former federal Liberal candidate out here in good ol’ Alberta (and yeah, I am a lot more right wing then he is).

    He has run three times federally, but now says no more.

    Not until the LPC can define to Canadians who they are, what they stand for, why they are better then the CPC or NDP, and how they would govern in a better way.

    It’s been said by many, including myself, Canadians know what both the government and official opposition stand for; no one, including Liberals, know what the LPC stands for. Just being “the center party” just is not good enough.

    Personally, I hope actually hope the LPC gets their act together, because although I will never vote that way, I want there to be a realistic alternative for the CPC when they screw up… and they will, just like the LPC did. Hopefully not for 2 or more elections, but reality is that all governing parties get complacent.

  11. AB Observer says:

    Scot, if everyone knows, how can you clearly enunciate it? I should mention, of the 4 of us in the meeting, I was the only one who was not an active (or any other kind) of Liberal. These people were frustrated with no clear message and no consistent messaging for years.

    Yeah, I gave them a few shots because of my political leanings (in good humour) but their frustration is real, not invented and NOT bullshit as you so kindly put it.

    They couldn’t tell me what the Liberal party stands for today. I suggested that it was a party of NOTS. NOT being NDP and NOT being CPC.

    That is not good enough for the LPC to make it. It has to quit being self-righteous about everything, and yes, that attitude of entitlement does creep through.

    There are some good people in the LPC. There are some good ideas there. But don’t try and sell it to the electorate by bafflegab.

    Your infighting and procrastination in making tough choices on who you are and what you will offer the Canadian people needs to go through a thoughtful process.

    Like my daughter says to me when I go hunting, good luck, but not too much. I still am a right-winger you know!

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