Conservative leader Stephen Harper blew a two-handed kiss to about 150 bleary-eyed but enthusiastic supporters as he boarded Sweater Vest Jet for a post-debate tour to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Harper and wife Laureen shook hands with people and several Ottawa-area candidates.
Conservative officials said this morning they thought Harper did well in both debates.
But Harper, expected to give a few remarks, didn't give his morning-after assessment.
He apparently changed his mind and opted not to speak to the crowd. Reporters, who'd been provided a microphone hookup, wondered where was the pep talk.
Certainly, the RCMP were in fighting form, trying to push back reporters, saying PMO official Karine Leroux had ordered the media back behind a rope. "I am instructed to put you back there," barked one burly Mountie as the Toronto Star moved closer to a speaker to hear Harper's expected speech over the roar of plane engines.
As Harper arrived and shook hands for the departure "photo op," Leroux batted away the media microphone three times.
Guess this was, in the words of one-time Harper comms boss, a "visual event" only.
Those odd lyrics of Harper's theme music by Collective Soul blared out: "I'm feelin' better now. Time to celebrate me."
- Tonda MacCharles