Mary would be able to run the country
LAST week I went out on a limb to say that Mary Hanafin was a more credible contender than Brian Cowen to be the next leader of Fianna Fail. Naturally I was a bit nervous about plumping so heavily for Hanafin. After all, the heavyweight political pundits had never seen Hanafin as anything more than one contender among of a mob of possible contenders.
Luckily, a poll in last Tuesday's Irish Examiner confirmed my hunch that the public liked Hanafin a lot more than the pundits. In the ministerial ratings - a good guide to Taoiseach potential - Hanafin came a close second with a 32 per cent approval rating to Brian Cowen's 33 per cent and well ahead of the rest of the Cabinet.
Actually, I believe she will close that gap in the coming months and be the frontrunner by the time that Bertie Ahern is forced to step down - because of course, no more than Blair, he really will have to be removed by brute force.