The Stelmach swagger
February 29, 2008 | 09:47 AM
On a campaign stop Thursday in Edmonton-Riverview, currently held by Liberal Leader Kevin Taft, the media was told to gather at the local Starbucks where Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach would have a coffee and chat with folks.
Starbucks had no problem with the folks; they didn't want the cameras inside thank you very much.
I pumpeded into a tall dark patron who was fixing his coffee.
"So, here to see Ed Stelmach?" I queried.
Mr. Tall Dark looked at me and almost yelped: "Absolutley not!"
OK, I thought, I'll just sip my coffee patiently.
Then we were told to gather across the parking lot at a tea shop. Once the Ed bus rolled in, he was greeted by campaign managers and party brass. No real people here, but another photo-op — and a pesky Sierra Club woman who once again confonted Ed about the oilsands.
After it was over, there was a bit of a swagger in Ed's step. No longer with sweaty brow and stutter, he was brandishing a dentured smile as he held his head high.
"65," I heard someone whisper.
65 seats, pronounced one of the gathered party people. That explains the swagger, I thought. Only a few more days to go and the Conservatives are confident of an even bigger majority.
I watched the bus drive away in a cloud of dust.