Everyone sang O Canada along with the choir. It felt so special. Then, PM and his team entered the room with "It's a Beautiful Day" literally blaring from the speakers, and the entire mood changed dramatically.
His entrance had a real "campaign" feel to it. Ok, it's an election. What got to me, though, was that he didn't sing with the kids or come in to hear the welcome song or the band play. Don't tell me the school arranged it that way. Campaign teams typically set the itinerary and, even if the school had arranged it that way, a savvy team would have made it a point to have the PM hear the students perform and then sing the national anthem along with them. It felt so wrong.
It is all, apparently, downhill from there as PMPM ignores the students and plays to the cameras -- of course, the whole purpose of modern campaigns.
Now Zolner is, clearly, no Liberal fan.
But where else, but a blog, are Canadians gonna get this kind of local, grassroots, political commentary?
(UPDATE: ok, try the Globe Blog, where Campbell Clark casts a pro's eye, and finds more to Martin's pitch: The truth, however, is that the answers were better, and more revealing.
And Paul Wells notes "Heart of Canada", and wonders if he's caught a "virulent, fast-acting strain of Stockholm Syndrome. ":
... I didn't say the guy was perfect. What he did was show himself to be competent and engaging in a discussion about foreign policy, trade policy, security policy. The very stuff and essence of a national government's unique role.
Also from Wells (UPDATE: Wells' comment now deleted on Blog --- no explanation. Did PM fill the time?):
Question of the Day: With the polls going the way they are, why does the workaholic prime minister of Canada have a schedule for today that provides him with a cumulative total of five hours in Vancouver away from any public event and any reporter?
Just click on any of the politicals blogs.
By tomorrow, the Liberal's slip in the polls will be spun into a full blown crisis; the Girt's internal war will wholly dominate coverage.
Keep an eye on Kinsella.