Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Harper's wild side
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had the most to smile about this morning as he woke up as the head of a majority government.
He just held his first press conference and took more questions than he ever did on a single day during the campaign. He even came back to the microphone twice to accommodate a question (and then repeated in French) about how he celebrated.
Harper, not exactly known as a party animal, said his staff pulled him back up to the hotel room in Calgary after his victory speech last night and asked him to pop the cork on some champagne. Then they insisted he guzzle from the bottle.
"Some of you may know I'm not much of a drinker but I did. However they tricked me and there was only like that much in it," he said, holding up his fingers to demonstrate an inch or two. "So much for my wild side."
After a campaign in which he was fiercely criticized by the very reporters at this morning's press conference for being closed off and only taking a limited number of questions per day, this was the most personality he has shown in weeks.
He has said with a majority he will govern differently, and won't have the spectre of being defeated resonating through every decision. So far he seems to be telling the truth, as the more relaxed and far less combative Harper this morning (albeit clearly exhausted) was a very nice start to the Harper majority government.
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About Mia Rabson
Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.
Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.
She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.
Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.
Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.
In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.
She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.
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