The media were already cranky. Earlier, they had plucked names out of a hat to determine who among them would be offered up to ask a few questions of the PM in his first post-cabinet shuffle press conference. Typically, Harper’s staff ignored the media list, and came up with one of their own.
But that wasn’t the bombshell, or even remotely surprising — in Harper’s Ottawa, that kind of stuff is standard operating procedure. No, the bombshell came after Harper and his minions had scurried out of the line of fire: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed three defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate,” The Canadian Press reported in a news bulletin, as jaws dropped across Parliament Hill (and the country). The Sun’s top guy on the Hill, David Akin, immediately tweeted: “Harper puts Larry Smith, Fabian Manning back in Senate. Also appoints Josee Verner.”