Manley will not seek Liberal leadership
With Frank McKenna having previously decided not to seek the Liberal leadership, it's interesting to note that it seems there are currently more Liberals announcing they won't seek the leadership than announcing their candidacy.
Justin Trudeau quickly declined.
The aforementioned McKenna has demurred.
Now, John Manley has announced that he won't be running for the Liberal leadership.
"I truly found that in my mind and heart, I have moved on from the world of elected office," Manley announced. "I also found that I lacked the burning ambition necessary to mount and sustain such a campaign."
While these must have almost certainly been factors in Manley's decision not to run, his known dedication to the Afghanistan mission was likely also a factor. Should fellow supporter of the mission Michael Ignatieff decide to run, the Afghanistan war will almost certainly become an issue in the leadership campaign.
If the Liberal party's official support for the mission were placed in jeopardy, Ignatieff and Manley simply would not be able to afford to split any voting bloc supportive of the war.
While there's likely the previously mentioned personal factor involved in Manley's decision, it's hard t imagine that pragmatism hasn't played a role as well.
On a concluding note, the Liberal leadership convention is still more than six months away. Plenty of time remains for more leadership hopefuls to declare their candidacy, but waiting too long should generally be considered a mistake. Momentum is important in such contests, and giving up too much to a candidate like Bob Rae could very well put this race out of reach for many would-be candidates.
A few more Liberals should follow the example of Manley, McKenna, Trudeau, Rae and Dominic LeBlanc: declare their intentions early, or not at all.