Bertie for President, no First Lady yet? Martin cannot Stop Bertie or Crack the Whip? Written by the Phoenix and the Cedar Lounge Revolution?

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President Ahern? by WorldbyStorm The Phoenix in its latest edition argues that Bertie Ahern, no longer a member of Fianna Fáil, is likely to contest the next Presidential election. And that non-FF member status may be, from his perspective, a good thing. As the Phoenix puts it: Martin has always refused to consider readmitting Ahern to the party, but Bertie – when declaring his long-term ambition to run for the presidency – made it clear that if he were to be a candidate he would campaign as an Independent. However, the three-times taoiseach would try to combine FF support with an Independent status in much the same way as Mary Robinson did with regard to Labour in 1991. Seán Gallagher did the same with FF in 2011 and 2018 – less successfully but with some credibility in 2011 until his implosion during the RTÉ debate. Noting a recent speech by Ahern the magazine points to emollient words on the current coalition, his friendships with former US and UK leaders (no guessing which ones), a range of honorary and other titles as well as his participation in conflict resolution efforts in points various internationally. The question is does his weight in respect of a much more local conflict resolution process manage to assist him overturn perceptions in regard to other aspects of his political life? As the Phoenix puts it, that’s some 15 or so years ago. Soon enough it may be two decades. And possible rivals for the crown – one M. Martin (an outsider I’d have thought), Mairead McGuinness of Fine Gael and perhaps, just perhaps, Gerry Adams? What an interesting contest that would make.

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