Category: Archive

Flexible forum

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

That’s what organizers of a hoped for Irish American Presidential Forum ’08 are counting on this week.
“One location, one date, one city is virtually impossible,” said John Dearie, one of the main organizers of the forum.
Dearie, who organized the first forum in 1984, an event that attracted Democratic nominee Walter Mondale to the Bronx, said that invitations were being sent to all the remaining candidates in both parties.
“We’re offering a flexible forum schedule,” Dearie told the Echo.
The forum would be held sometime between mid-March and mid-April in front of an invited crowd of Irish American leaders and community members.
“We will suit their schedule,” Dearie said of the candidates.
“If we plan on gathering two or three times it holds out the prospect of more candidates showing up. These candidates are moving fast,” he said.
Dearie said that the Clinton and McCain campaigns had been already contacted and both had been “very receptive” to the flexible forum idea.
Contact was also being made with Democrats in Illinois, including the office of Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley, this with the intention of highlighting the importance of an Irish American forum to the Barack Obama campaign.
Dearie said that the campaign of Republican long shot Mike Huckabee would also be approached.
“I think this way is our best hope of succeeding and I believe it will happen,” said Dearie.
Any and all candidates who turn up for the forum will be asked a number of questions mainly dealing with Northern Ireland, both in political and economic terms, and the immigration issue in the U.S.
Following the 1984 forum, a second such gathering was held in New York in 1988 and was attended by Democrats Michael Dukakis and Al Gore. Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown turned up in 1992 while Al Gore was the sole attendee in 1996 and 2000. There was no forum held in 2004.
Dearie is particularly hopeful that this year’s forum will, for the first time, include at least one Republican presidential candidate.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese