And in this corner, Wang....
It seems a pity to leave the blogging day without a pointer to the ongoing discussions in the KMT over who will be on the ticket. Wang-Ma? Ma-Wang? Lien-Wang? Wang-Soong? Anything seems possible these days. But Wang Jin-pyng has the insightful comment:
Meanwhile, Wang yesterday said that he favored a Wang-Ma rather than a Ma-Wang presidential ticket, saying that the former one was a winning combination.
"If [I were to be paired up with Ma], of course it should be a Wang-Ma ticket," Wang told reporters when asked for comment on Ma's earlier remarks.
"Everyone wants the best for himself and will strive for it. I don't remember whether I have spoken about this, but what I am thinking about in my heart is a Wang-Ma ticket," Wang said.
Wang said that a Ma-Wang ticket would not be a threat to the DPP because the DPP has prepared itself for beating Ma in next year's presidential election.
"Only a presidential ticket led by a pro-localization candidate can help the KMT win the election," Wang said, without elaborating.
Not much else to be said; Wang hit the nail on the head. A ticket with Wang at the fore might do very well, but doesn't seem likely. That's Impossible doesn't think there is much chance of a Wang-Ma pair-up, either. The pro-KMT China Post, in an article by "China Post Staff" -- which usually indicates a translation from their sister publication -- noted the growing chill in the KMT leadership:
An emerging chill in the relationship among top leaders of the Kuomintang (KMT) is likely to complicate an earlier emergence of a consensus candidate for the main opposition party.
In spite of calls for restraining presidential hopefuls' aides from spreading public and controversial statements that might sow discord, the cold relations between Ma Ying-jeou, a former KMT chairman, and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng seemed to show no signs of improvement.
The two are currently rated as the two front-runners to win the party's nomination for the 2008 presidential race, although Ma enjoys a commanding lead over Wang in all major public opinion polls.
Analysts said that both of them have shown no genuine and concrete moves to form a team despite their open remarks that they will never cause any rift within the party that will hamper the KMT's campaign for returning to power next year.
Ma has so far refrained to make a commitment on asking Wang to be his running mate as suggested by many, saying the decision should not be made since no one has even formally registered for the party primary.
One thing about Ma -- the man is always on-message:
In response to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) refusal to play second fiddle and run as the vice-presidential candidate on the party's ticket, Ma said he realized that grassroots supporters did not take the pair-up issue too seriously, adding that he would focus his attention on seeking solutions to Taiwan's economic difficulties.
Bingo. Ma has announced that he's going to run on the economy -- "save Taiwan from poverty" was pretty much how he put it the other day -- and having done that, he's constantly on message: it's the economy, stupid.
I'm beginning to wonder if Ma Ying-jeou, currently without a post in either the government or the KMT and thus, just an ordinary jeou, is fast approaching his sell-by date. If another six months go by it may dawn on some in the KMT that Ma's star has peaked. Time will only improve Wang's longshot bid for the Presidential candidacy. UberChairmanforLife Lien Chan is back in the public eye and liking it. The Taipei Times report mainly focused on the by-play between party insiders over who will get the nod for the KMT Chairmanship, with reference to the influence of Lien Chan, but the Taiwan News also mentioned six-term legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), stirring up the pot with her bid:
Jason from Wandering to Tamshui pointed out over on That's Impossible! that she was the legislator who taught her dog to attack when it heard the phrase "A-Bian," the President's nickname. Say, wonder how the last chairmanship election was conducted, if so many dues-paying KMT members can't be verified.....cheating somehow? Naw. Not the KMT.
To enter the race, Hung needs to collect the signatures of 3 percent of eligible party members. She said in a press conference yesterday, however, that many party members' names, addresses, or telephone numbers were missing in the detailed membership list provided by party headquarters.
The list showed that 278,000 party members had paid their annual membership fees and thus were eligible to vote in the election for chairman, she said, meaning she will need to collect nearly 8,500 signatures to enter the race.
Looking for data
Having paid an NT$2 million entry fee to participate in the election, Hung said she should have access to more complete data so that she can complete the signature-gathering process.
If she cannot successfully register as a candidate in the election by March 18, the party could suffer a big blow to its image, she said.
Hung urged all party members who hope to see at least two candidates vying for the chairmanship to contact her and help her meet the signature threshold.
Hung, 59, has served six consecutive terms as a legislator and has a reputation for having a sharp tongue.
Believed to be closely associated with KMT Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), she has denied her that her candidacy represents any factional interests, saying she made the decision to run on her own.
The party has taken considerable effort to avoid a split between supporters of Ma and those of Wang and hopes to avoid a contentious internal election.
Hung's only rival in the race will be Wu Po-hsiung, seen as an ally of Ma Ying-jeou.The 70-year-old Wu has served as secretary-general to former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and as KMT secretary-general.
Meanwhile the DPP is arguing over whether to have a primary or simply decide in the time-honored, smoke-filled room fashion.....
[Taiwan] [DPP] [KMT] [Ma Ying-jeou]