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And with one, or nineteen*, bounds – he may be back! David Norris, redux. September 15, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

I’d not put much store in reports of David Norris reentering the race, but so much for my powers of political prediction. For we learn that following his meeting this morning with the Independent TDs and Senators he may be on the point of reentering the Presidential contest.

It is understood that Senator David Norris told Independent TDs in Leinster House this afternoon that he is once again seeking their support to run for the Presidency.
Senator David Norris made no comment after his meeting with TDs in the Dáil Technical Group.

And the Irish Times noted that:

The surprise move comes ahead of an expected appearance on RTÉ’s Late Late Show  tomorrow night where he will be asked about his presidential ambitions.

There’s a couple of points about this that are worth noting. Firstly that Norris believes that he has a whisper of a chance. He may well be right. There’s no question that his candidacy of all to date is the one which most caught at least some spark of imagination amongst the public. How else to explain his consistently high poll ratings both before, and most crucially after, the debacle of his campaign. But where do the numbers come from? His first bid fell asunder in part because three TDs withdrew support for his nomination. Hard to see them changing their minds I would have thought.

But, secondly, it would appear that the Independents, or at least some of them, believe that Norris also has a whisper of a chance. For some of those Independents there’s been a sense of Norris as their great lost opportunity…his candidacy and departure evinced statements from some of our more shy and retiring Independents where other issues haven’t. Finian McGrath’s position in all this is of particular interest. As the man who positioned himself front and centre of the original Norris campaign he had to backtrack sharply – in part due to pressure from members of his own political group in his constituency. I can’t see that pressure diminishing.

Actually looking at McGrath’s words this afternoon… well.. hmmm…

“David made a presentation and then there was a big discussion on the issues and the issues that happened,” Mr McGrath said. “David was very gracious and very magnanimous even with people like myself that he disagreed with. But he asked people for their support because he is considering entering the race again.”

Among the issues raised were the controversial letter Mr Norris wrote to an Israeli court seeking clemency for a former partner facing a charge of statutory rape which led to his withdrawal from the election last month.

“I would say there would be some individuals in the room that will support her [Davis],” Mr McGrath said. He said some of the Independents could be faced with a dilemma if approached by an aspiring candidate who was just short of the required 20 signatures of Oireachtas members.

“They mightn’t necessarily agree with somebody but they might sign it to ensure that there is an inclusive election,” he said.

Thirdly one might wonder if the slow drumbeat in the Sunday Independent promoting a Norris candidacy has paid dividends. There’s little more depressing than to see one E. Harris championing Norris, and for obvious, frankly almost stereotypical reasons in terms of how Harris perceives is his signification as regards national issues.

But there are issues. Norris if he reenters the field is not coming back into the rather more congenial environment that he left. The other two independents, Gallagher and Davis, are now safely ensconced and ready to roll. Sinn Féin, playing an absolute blinder in terms of raising their profile by what in any other context would appear like almost heroic proportions of dithering over their candidate are most likely to present a real challenge [not in terms of likelihood of winning but in terms of vote getting] . Though they could square the circle by saying they’re willing to go for Norris – an outcome which I find enormously unlikely.

Obviously no one on this blog is in the slightest position to give advice that will be heeded by Norris, but if I had the opportunity for one thought it would be the following: if there are any skeletons remaining in the cupboard, any at all, get them out there immediately and get past them as best as is feasible.

If he does get back into the race this will present some interesting choices for people – oddly enough I was talking to someone from an LP background today who on hearing the news thought he had a good chance of running away with it. Who knows?

One oddity. Mary Davis, who already has the nod from four local authorities to run met the Independent TDs and Senators as well this morning. I presume that was simply to build more support for her bid, or perhaps a way to try to outflank a revived Norris candidacy. Clever whatever way one cuts it.

Anyhow, whatever else this Presidential campaign hasn’t been dull. And in truth it’s hardly even started yet.

Roll on the Late Late Show, words I have never thought to write or say before.

*Independent TDs [excluding the bould Naughton]… let’s not get into the various Independent Senators…


1. RepublicanSocialist1798 - September 15, 2011

Ross Perot ’92 anyone?


WorldbyStorm - September 15, 2011

Possibly, but then is GM Bush or Clinton?


WorldbyStorm - September 15, 2011



RepublicanSocialist1798 - September 15, 2011

Bush obviously – the phrase “GM oozes sex appeal” is an oxymoron.


RepublicanSocialist1798 - September 15, 2011

Though in fairness it’s an oxymoron for the other candidates as well lol.


WorldbyStorm - September 16, 2011

Very very true… 🙂 or perhaps that should be 😦


2. CMK - September 15, 2011

If an Independent TD supports Norris’ candidacy can they also support Davis? Or do TDs have just one endorsement that they can give to X or Y candidate, but not both?


shea - September 16, 2011

only one.


WorldbyStorm - September 16, 2011

Ah, I’d wondered that too.


CMK - September 16, 2011

Cheers, shea.


3. Alan Rouge - September 16, 2011

I couldn’t give a shite, about the presidency, about Norris, about his campaign, about his “pro-enterprise” bollocks, about his closet, about his skeleton etc.

For all his waffle about being a fighter for human rights, I didn’t see him at the SNA protest the other day where people were fighting for kid’s education rights.

Further, this “race” is more like a school sports day where you have the old fat teachers running the three-legged.


WorldbyStorm - September 16, 2011

Hmmm… that’s an image I never thought I’d have to visualise mentally… 🙂

You’re right in many many respects, but… two thoughts. There is a serious aspect to this in the sense that a victory for Fine Gael or Labour or one for A.N.other indicates potential political dynamics. It doesn’t make much difference on the ground, though I’m one who while hyper-critical of Robinson’s Presidency and yet I think it was useful in generating a certain mood music that assisted in the decriminalisation of homosexuality, divorce. And given that the result of the latter was knife edge to begin with I wonder whether it wouldn’t have gone the other way under an FF Presidency and a sense of same old same old.


Pope Epopt - September 16, 2011

I don’t disagree on the irrelevance, Alan, but I’ll take any form of difference in the essentially identikit electoral politics of the RoI, even if only at the level of sexual politics. Plus it would be one in the eye for the meeja hacks who hounded the fellow out of the overweight staff race.

Meanwhile, in the big wide world, there a fair change the German PDs (FDP and elements of the CSU) will bring down the Euro in an ‘apres moi le deluge’ gesture as they disappear up their own neo-liberal backsides.. I’ve got a feeling the Irish Presidential election is likely to be a footnote to a footnote in the history of these times.


Pope Epopt - September 16, 2011

Fair change is a fair chance.

A chance to change would be nice, both editorially and in the wider sense.


4. irishelectionliterature - September 16, 2011

The fuss in Fianna Fail caused by Labhrás Ó Murchú could well work to the advantage of Norris.
Not fielding an FF candidate didn’t go down too well with a lot of the grassroots. Then to deny one of their own an opportunity to run as an Independent , having previously offered support to Gay Byrne , would make matters worse.
If FF allow their parliamentary party to nominate candidates on an individual basis , as Labhrás Ó Murchú wishes, then there may well be a few FF votes proposing Norris.


5. Is The Norris Campaign Unfinished? « I . D O U B T . I T/ - September 18, 2011

[…] And with one, or nineteen*, bounds – he may be back! David Norris, redux. (cedarlounge.wordpress.com) […]


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