Rae won't run for leadership 0
Bob Rae said no Wednesday to ever becoming leader of the bedraggled Liberal party and a chance to become prime minister, setting in motion weeks of speculation about who wants to fill the vacancy.
Rae, who turns 64 in August, said neither age nor health were factors in his decision - just ask his wife Arlene, he said - and that by not tossing his cap into the race he is keeping a promise made last year to sit tight.
"There will be commentary on the age question. I think it's bull----. Who cares? If you're fit and ready to go, it doesn't matter."
He didn't specifically mention pressure from key Liberals - especially heavyweights in Ontario - who opposed his potential candidacy because of the baggage he carries as the former NDP premier of the province and the need for a new face on a party in the midst of a herculean rebuilding effort.
"I've reached the conclusion that the way in which I can serve my party best is...by simply sticking to the task which I agreed to do at the beginning of my mandate," he said. "I've had lots of encouragement and lots of people who wanted me to think otherwise."
The caucus picked Rae to lead in the short term after Michael Ignatieff quit following a disastrous election in May 2011 when the party won 34 seats and for the first time in its history didn't form government or official Opposition.
Rae said he won't endorse or help any candidates.
Several names have been floated for the leadership, including MPs Justin Trudeau, Marc Garneau, David McGuinty and Dominic LeBlanc.
Garneau, like others, said he would consider mounting a campaign, but not until he could gauge support, the ability to raise money and assemble a team.
LeBlanc gave the strongest signal of his intent to run, saying he did it in 2009, so why not do it again?
The timing of the start of a race and how much money wannabes can spend will be determined later this summer.