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AnnetteLuscoresapoint

<>Annette Lu scored a political point by interviewing President Ma Ying-jeou amidst a chorus of boos among her Democratic Progressive Party fellow leaders on Thursday. Never mind what the former vice president, who now poses as publisher of her Formosa Weekly, and Ma talked about at the latter's office. What's important is that she, of all the top aspirants in the opposition for president in 2012, met the president alone and swapped words with him.

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<>Why would Ma help her to assert her"supremacy"over DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen et al? As a matter of fact, there are only two in the"and others": Frank Hsieh and Su Tseng-chang, who ran unsuccessfully for president and vice president in 2008.

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<>With his popularity nose-diving, Ma needed a break, and thus searched desperately for a DPP partner to engage in harmless dialogue to show his willingness to talk with the increasingly vituperous opposition. Ma also wants to debate Tsai, who, however, has somehow chickened out after she demanded a meeting to discuss affairs of state. At any rate, the president also had his long-sought break.

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<>Lu has never given up on her ambition to become Taiwan's first female president. When Chen Shui-bian picked her as his running mate for 2000 and they were victorious, she thought she might have a chance to step into his shoes after he bowed out. When the Redshirts were marching on the Office of the President in 2006 to demand Chen step down for a spate of scandals involving him and his family, speculation was rife that she was calling for his resignation to let her take over for the rest of his second term. Chen survived the Redshirts - almost a million of them wearing red shirts and led by former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh. Then, she was shunted aside by a revived Chen, who had chosen the Hsieh-Su ticket against Ma and Vincent Siew. .

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<>Their hope buoyed by the two successive DPP election victories, the last one being a landslide, both Hsieh and Su are getting ready to carry the party's standard, come 2012. They won't miss a chance to bash Ma, if given an opportunity like what Lu got, albeit Ma-bashing is now all but a national pastime.

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<>It must be noted that all of them - Lu, Ma, Hsieh and Su - studied at the prestigious National Taiwan University law school almost at the same time. Oops, the name of Chen Shui-bian wasn't mentioned. Tsai should be bunched with them, too, though she attended that school much later. They will all be good protagonists in any public debate on what Taiwan should do to become a"normal"country.

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<>For the very brief time being, Lu reigns supreme in the opposition party as a presidential contender. She still doesn't have a strong chance of getting nominated to run in 2012, though.

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