Category: Archive

McCain asked to intercede with Paisley

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The request by Blair was reported by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.
Novak wrote that Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been increasingly active on Northern Ireland and had prior contact with Paisley.
A British diplomatic spokesman told the Echo that he had no comment on the Novak report.
“The British government has contacts with many people about the peace process but we don’t talk about them,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden has become the third member of the U.S. Senate with clear-cut Irish roots to declare himself a candidate for the presidency of the United States.
Biden quipped that he was now the 800th candidate to seek the White House and even since he declared his candidacy last week the already crowded field has grown with the entry of former New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani on the Republican side.
Biden, 62, traces his Irish family roots to County Derry. Fellow Democratic senator and candidate Chris Dodd has a Clare connection, while John McCain lays claim to Antrim ties.
“Everybody else calls it exploratory. I’m not exploring. I’m in. And this is the beginning of a marathon,” Biden, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.
Biden, as it happens, was the first in the jam-packed Democratic field to signal interest in the 2008 election. He did so back in 2005.
He made a previous bid for the White House in 1988 but had to withdraw in a flap over a speech, portions of which were borrowed from then British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.
Biden’s is a familiar name to Irish Americans as he has a longstanding interest in Northern Ireland.
Some years ago, when Admiral William Crowe was being questioned by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his appointment as U.S. ambassador to Britain, Biden suggested to Crowe that he spend time in Northern Ireland and become familiar with its politics.
The outgoing U.S. ambassador, Raymond Seitz, had made one trip to the North but had confined himself to an over-flight in a British Army helicopter.
“And by visiting Ireland I don’t mean a quick helicopter ride,” Biden told Crowe.
Meanwhile, the Irish American Republicans lobby group will be honoring John McCain in New York on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Details on the event are available at (518) 210-1200.

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