On the way to New Orleans for the leaders’ summit, among the reporters, all the talk was of Sunday's strange events and why the Conservatives picked and chose among journalists for a special briefing on last week's RCMP raid at Tory headquarters.
I'm glad to see we've stopped trying to call it a "visit," as Conservatives insisted last week in their public statement. Now it's the RCMP "stormed" party headquarters.
Any attempts to raise this with Harper's entourage so far today have been unsuccessful. Dimitri Soudas, one of the communications aides in the PMO, came back and greeted journalists on the plane to New Orleans this morning, but when asked about all this business, he said simply he was focused on government, not the party.
We don't expect Harper to entertain any questions from Canadian reporters today -- true to form when he's travelling abroad. Our only glimpse of him has been on arrival here an hour or so ago at a private strip near New Orleans airport, where Harper was serenaded with a brass band from Preservation Hall.
Also, from what we can gather, it does seem that Canada has abandoned its usual practice of holding a separate news conference for its own reporters at these summits. (I've been coming to these things since 2004.) Now, our only chance to pose questions of Harper will be at the final news conference featuring all three leaders, in which only six questions are permitted -- two from each country.