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10 good reasons why the remarkable Gaybo should be our President

ONE Gay can't, but the other can. David Norris may be out of the presidential race but Gay Byrne, the former Late Late Show host, could be in. There's one for everyone in the audience -- a vote that is, and Gaybo can grab them. Here are 10 reasons why Byrne can do it.

1 Byrne is a natural communicator with an innate ability to draw people in. He has the technical ability that is vital for mass media communication. When it comes to a presidential debate, he would be in a great position. If he can raise the necessary funding, his television advertisements and interviews should be on the money.

2 Byrne listens. Right now this nation needs someone to listen to it. Enda Kenny has cleverly played on that with some rousing half-time talks, but you feel the rhetoric will be eroded as the Budget kicks in. Point is, Gay had the ability to spot a drift, the 'want' in people. An election will determine if he still has that skill.

3Byrne is his own man. I've interviewed Gay a good few times and he could never be accused of pandering to people. He can be tricky and doesn't suffer fools gladly.

Look at his work as chair of the National Road Safety Authority. I can remember him criticising the Government which appointed him. That is a good thing.

However he needs to be careful with a younger generation that he does not come across as easily irritated by apparent lesser mortals.

4Byrne is seen as unbiased. As a broadcaster, by and large, he wore the cloak of neutrality brilliantly for many years. Presidential aspirants need to be warm and not criticise others during the race. Gay is smart enough to know this.

5 Byrne is non-political. This is the single biggest advantage he has. People are sick of the Political Classes. That has not been helped by the hypocrisy over the David Norris affair. The Senator's supporters will be attracted to Byrne.

6Byrne is trustworthy. Gay took us through some of the most important issues of our time. He even brought sex into Ireland. Well sort of as he aired all the taboo subjects in our living rooms.

From homosexuality to contraception he wasn't afraid to push the boat out. He steered us as much as any politician ever did through turbulent times. So people have built up an association with him as someone who can steer us through.

7Byrne will get the grey vote. Just like many other older people Gay Byrne got burnt by the banks. He spoke out and was honest enough to say he had been badly hit. For the older -profile voters who are more likely to vote than a younger generation, Byrne is seen as one of their own .

Like them, he too lost his pension and savings and they won't forget that.

8Byrne is better known than any other candidate. This is so significant for an Independent candidate. FG will get their big war chest of money and party machine to work for Gay Mitchell, and it will be a potent force.

So whoever hopes to threaten that without a party network needs a very high profile. They will need to pick up both urban and rural voters.

9Byrne has wide geographical appeal. If he needs the County Councils for a nomination he has a good chance. Equally rural and urban Oireachtas members could support him.

10Byrne has the X Factor. Hard to define, but when certain people walk into a room others will look and listen to them. Gaybo still has it, and it will be a very useful tool in the presidential race if he decides to run.


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