Making my decision on running for Irish president ---weighing the pros and cons
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- What JFK’s America was really like in November 1963 - Time capsule of New York Daily News paper of the day
- An afternoon with Chuck Feeney, Irish America’s greatest hero
A few weeks ago I announced I was considering running for president of Ireland and that I would decide within a set time period.
After a couple of weeks of campaigning that still holds.
It will be one of the toughest decisions I have made.
On the plus side I have been deeply moved by the support of emigrant Irish everywhere, from the US to Australia to Canada and Britain.
I have heard from so many, saying how glad they are that we Irish abroad might finally have a voice.
That really hit home at the Top 50 Women of Influence event we hosted on Thursday of last week.
The goodwill and sense of solidarity was frankly, overwhelming.
I was also deeply encouraged by a four-day visit to Ireland and the sense that a new voice in the debate was very welcome.
I stressed jobs and a proactive Team Ireland approach that went over well.
People are sick of politicians over there, unfairly so perhaps in terms of the current candidates who had little to do directly with the Irish meltdown, so an outside voice is helpful.
On the minus side is the sheer logistical challenge such a bid presents, from moving back to Ireland for the campaign, to setting up a fully fledged campaign to going up against powerful parties which have election machinery in place.
Those concerns have moved from the abstract to the real and how they can be dealt with. It is a complex process, essentially involving a primary where you have to get 20 elected representatives to support you before the actual vote.
I am still knee deep in figuring all that out.
The candidacy so far has been interesting to say the least. Three articles, two in the Irish Times one in the Sunday Independent by British unionists attacking my candidacy was a fair indication of where the traditional hostility against Irish in America lies.
All seemed to want to fight the peace process all over again, not content with how it had worked out -- the singularly most successful political accommodation of the last half century in Europe.
I take great pride in playing a small part in achieving that
All other commentary apart from the wailing wall chorus was balanced, much of it very favorable, so I can't complain.
There have been moments of great light relief too I have to say. I notice tonight Paddy Power bookmakers has now included me at 66/1 to be next Mayor of New York!
I'm sure Christine Quinn who I just conducted a fundraiser for for that very job will be amused. She's an excellent price at 5/2 by the way!
So it will come down to a final decision. I know how privileged I am to be in even with an outsider's chance of such an incredible job.
I'll let you know.
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