An update on all the people not running for Liberal leadership
However, the Liberal Biennial convention may have marked the unofficial starting gun on the leadership race, as names were floated around the convention hall and in hospitality suites. Sure, most of the likely contenders say they're not interested, but that's unlikely to quiet the rumours.
Today, a look at the ten most talked about names. Tomorrow, a look at some of the sleeper candidates.
The case for Rae: Even Rae's harshest critics within the Liberal Party acknowledge he's done a bang-up job as interim leader and he's the best politician we have.
Is he a contender? If Rae runs, he'd have an impressive organization behind him. Do I think he'll be the next leader? No, not really. As Rae himself said in May, the party is likely to look to a new generation of leadership. But if you put $10 on Rae and asked me to put $10 on just one other name, I'd have a hard time thinking of someone who is more likely to be the next leader.
Why he isn't running: "I'm focusing on the job of interim leader". Plus, he made a deal with his wife.
The case for LeBlanc: Young, experienced, bilingual. Deep Liberal roots, but still a fresh face for most.
Is he a contender? If I had to put a name down on that $10 bet I mentioned above, it would likely be on Dominic. He's got pieces of an organization left over from his 14 minute leadership run in 2008, and seems to be the only "high profile" candidate who has not categorically ruled out running.
Will he run? LeBlanc was bullish after the election, but has been quiet since then.
The case for Trudeau: He's a political superstar, who has the potential to get Liberals and Canadians excited about the Liberal Party.
Is he a contender? If he runs, he will likely win.
Why he isn't running: "My kids are 2 and 4 and I barely see them enough as it is."
The case for Dalton: He's the most successful Liberal in Canada right now. The man has grown immensely as a politician over the past decade.
Is he a contender? Given the name recognition and organization he'd bring to the table, he'd likely be the frontrunner.
Why he isn't running: He has an ok day job right now. And he "wants to remain married".
The case for David: If you can't get Dalton, he'd be the next best thing. I likely wouldn't use that slogan on a button but, like his brother, David is experienced, rarely missteps, and has grown as a politician over the years.
Is he a contender? He'd have a better chance if he'd left Ottawa more than once or twice since being elected as an MP, but he's a capable politician and the McGuinty organization should not be underestimated.
Will he run? He's "mulling" a run.
The case for Garneau: Bilingual, respected...and he was a freaking astronaut! How cool is that!
Is he a contender? If you buy into the "alternance" theory, it might be a francophone's turn. At the very least, Garneau would be treated as a "top tier" candidate by the media.
Will he run? You may have missed it if you weren't reading the political pages on December 25th, but Garneau is considering a run.
The case for Brison: Like Rae, Brison is a talented politician with the gift of the gab - well spoken, with a quick wit.
Is he a contender? His campaign struggled in 2006, but Brison's pitch should find a receptive audience this time.
Why he isn't running: “I don’t want to have one of Canada’s first same sex divorces”
The case for Coderre: I'm really not the person who should be answering this.
Is he a contender? Coderre is one of the best organizers in the Liberal Party. I wouldn't expect him to win, but he could very easily carry Quebec.
Will he run? Coderre is considering a run for LPC leadership, Mayor of Montreal, or coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
The case for Cauchon: Has an impressive track record, is well spoken, and could be the key to winning back Quebec.
Is he a contender? Cauchon has been thinking about running for a decade, so I suspect he'd be able to put a strong team together, even outside Quebec.
Will he run? He hosted a hospitality suite at the convention. Of course, we have yet to hear publicly on the question of his candidacy from Cauchon, or his wife.
The case for Kennedy: I've made the case before, and I'd argue Kennedy was ahead of the game when he talked about the Liberal Party needing to rebuild itself, back in 2006.
Is he a contender? Well, the party has been moving down the "order of finish" list from 2006 (from Dion to Ignatieff to Rae...), so I guess it's his turn.
Will he run? He hasn't closed the door.