The media has spent a good deal of time transmitting the Conservative message that Harper has changed. We're told he's learned that politics in this country must be played in the 'middle', so he's given up his previous convictions. We're told that he has become friendlier, more open. All of this is BS of course. Oh, he's played a good game and seems to have convinced some people, but this man is the same controlling, secretive ideologue he's always been.
The recent story of how the Obama visit is being micro-managed is quite telling really. I used the term insecure in the title and I imagine there is a degree of insecurity involved, but I'd push it further to recall the paranoia that was so often referred to before the press obediently shrugged that off.
For Harper to share any of the spotlight with any other person of note in this country appears to be too much for his ego to bear. He's wounded and I'm sure he is counting on a meeting with Obama to help lift his popularity. I've read news articles stating that this will happen. Personally, I think it will only serve to highlight everything that Harper isn't. The petty way in which this trip is being handled is at once embarrassing and illustrative of just how weak Harper really is.
Will the press take their orders as issued by Kory Tenyecke?
Harper's spokespeople threatened to cancel the press conference if, at any point in the day, a Canadian reporter shouts out a question without being invited to do so.
White House reporters habitually bark out queries during photo opportunities with the president.
But nobody had better dare pulling such a stunt in Harper's office.
"If you do (ask a question), the photo op will immediately cease," Teneycke said.
"And I think the remainder of the day will be . . . I'll choose my words carefully on this: it would be very ill-advised, given that there's a press conference later."
Sadly, I expect they will, though I'd give anything to watch the petulant retaliation play itself out in public view.
The PMO has been saying for the longest time that the arrangements weren't up to them. Right. Not only is it obvious who is managing this visit, it's crystal clear that nothing has changed with this crew. We're not to know who will meet with Obama? Why precisely? Oh yeah, I forgot. Some of his MP's are not too good at keeping things secret are they? Should they be caught in a scrum, well who knows what they might blurt out.
At least someone is planning on talking and I'd like to see the PMO shut down that presser. Who knows. Maybe we'll even get to see some of Obama's meeting with Jean.