Tobin won't be running for Liberal leadership

the caracal kid

the clan of the claw
Nov 28, 2005
Tobin won't be running for Liberal leadership
Updated Tue. Jan. 31 2006 7:27 PM ET News

Another Liberal leadership prospect has dropped out of the early race to replace Paul Martin, with Brian Tobin announcing he will not be putting his name in the hat.

Tobin, a former federal cabinet minister and premier of Newfoundland, was considered the last strong candidate for the job.

Tobin's announcement came Tuesday.

Former CBC chair Carole Taylor, whose name had been bandied about by some as a possible candidate, also ruled herself out Tuesday.

Taylor admitted some people approached her to consider a leadership run, but the current minister of finance in the Liberal provincial government of Premier Gordon Campbell said she's very happy to be at the centre of decision-making in B.C.

The announcements by Tobin and Taylor follow on the heels of a Monday announcement that Frank McKenna, Canada's envoy to Washington, would also not be running for the position. John Manley, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister, announced his intention not to run last week.

Had they entered, Tobin, McKenna and Manley would have been considered the frontrunners in a broad field that might eventually include Liberal newcomers like Belinda Stronach, Michael Ignatieff and Scott Brison. No one has officially declared their interest yet.

Outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin triggered a leadership race when he announced his intention to resign as Liberal Party leader as he conceded defeat to the Conservatives' Stephen Harper in last week's federal election.

At Wednesday's Liberal caucus meeting, pundits say outgoing Defence Minister Bill Graham will be named the party's interim leader.

One senior Liberal said the withdrawals are not necessarily a bad thing for the party. Rather, it leaves room for new blood and new life to be breathed into the party.

"I think it's a good thing we're getting people's intentions out," said Steve MacKinnon, national director of the Liberal Party on CTV's Mike Duffy Live. "I think it's a good thing we're having people come forward now and cite their reasons for running or not running. I think what we're seeing is a lot of interest."

Tobin echoed that "new blood" theme in an interview with Canadian Press: "I think it's time for new blood and I think it's time for new players and I think this is an opportunity for the Liberal party to renew itself and, in the process, to heal itself a little bit as well."

Conservative strategist Goldy Hyder suggested candidates are wary of running for the leadership and having to defend the "tarnished" Liberal brand.

"It can't be a good day for them when you keep losing your tier one candidates," said Conservative strategist Goldy Hyder.

"I suggest there is a lack of interest in coming to defend the brand, and that is the real challenge. the brand is tarnished. The brand is not strong enough to form a vigorous opposition."


Governor General
Dec 20, 2005
Vancouver, BC
Haha, with all of the prominent potential leaders resigning from the race before it has begun, we might end up with a backbencher leading the Liberal Party of Canada into the next election, lol.