Rae in Toronto--Danforth; Kennedy in Calgary West; Hall Findlay in Toronto Centre?
I forget where I saw this suggested originally, but I thought it was a brilliant idea. Jack Layton does represent a swing riding, though very left-leaning. A sufficiently left-of-centre candidate could really give Layton a run for his money, and who better to knock off the leader of the NDP than the former leader of the NDP? If anyone can do it, it's Rae.
Running Rae in Toronto--Danforth would be strategically brilliant for the Liberals. A strong contender in his own riding would force Layton to spend a lot of time there, instead of campaigning for the NDP. If the Liberals are going to win a majority, we need to poach a good million votes from the NDP, so anything we can do to disrupt their campaign would be invaluable.
Were Rae to win, it would be a huge upset for the Liberals and force the NDP into disaray - which would be even more advantageous in the event of another minority government. Rae would be a hero, a giant-slayer. If he loses, aw well. He's had a good run of it.
Meanwhile, Gerard Kennedy's potential to appeal to voters west of Ontario could still be tapped. Were Kennedy to run in a western riding, it could be a huge boon for the Liberals. If he were to run in Alberta, it would send a clear message that the Liberals are willing to reach out to the west by running candidate who, if elected, would play an extremely important role in any Liberal cabinet or shadow cabinet. Where should he run? Well, Edmonton is considered to have potential for the Liberals, but what about Calgary West?
Calgary West, for those who are unaware, is the riding of Rob Anders, quite possibly the biggest pariah in the House of Commons. The most famous thing Anders has ever done was be the one MP who refused unanimous consent to make Nelson Mandela an honourary Canadian citizen, citing that Mandela is, I couldn't make this up, a communist and a terrorist. Anders never appears in the public eye - for good reason, he is an embarassment - and has been the subject of an aggressive campaign by ashamed residents of Calgary West to vote him out and replace him with... anybody. Well, why shouldn't anybody be Gerard Kennedy? It's obviously a vulnerable riding, and I really think Kennedy could win it. Imagine; a Liberal victory right in Stephen Harper's backyard (literally the riding right beside Harper's.) It would be euphoric, no more for anyone than for the poor residents of Calgary West, who have had to put up with their bonehead MP for a decade.
As for Martha Hall Findlay - the other leadership contender with no seat - I wonder where in Toronto she is going to run? Rumour has it that Bill Graham is going to retire, which isn't that far-fetched. He's been an MP for 13 years, a successful cabinet minister, and the interim leader of the Liberal Party. He could retire with pride at this point. That would leave a perfect seat open in which Hall Findlay could run.
Just some speculation.