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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday December 9, 2008
His campaign slogan is "Ready to Roll," but Bob Rae said yesterday he's not ready to roll over for Michael Ignatieff's "coronation" as the Grits' new leader.

Rae vowed his campaign will go on despite expectations his lone rival, Ignatieff, will be anointed as interim leader this week.

"I don't think coronations are generally successful in political parties," Rae said. "Most people believe that it's better to have a contest. It's better to have a choice.

"People have to stand the test of competition."

Those fighting words from Rae's Toronto campaign office came minutes after his staff crowded around a TV to watch New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc withdraw from the leadership race and throw his support behind Ignatieff.

Not to be outdone in the endorsement game, the former NDP premier pulled out Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy sporting a Rae campaign button and appealing that the party's grassroots not be shut out of the leadership selection process.

Rae joked he wished he had Kennedy's king-making support two years ago. A leadership contender in 2006, Kennedy backed Stephane Dion, giving him a boost over both Rae and Ignatieff.

Kennedy said there is still time for a new leader to be democratically chosen.

"We have both the time and the obligation to have the say of grassroots Liberals," he said. "From my standpoint, it has to involve grassroots members."


Bob Rae gears up for a fight
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