I've gone to enough Tim Hudak campaign events this summer that I can practically recite his speeches as well as he can. I know the talking points off by heart. I know the jokes and the punch lines. And I get that that's the way politics is nowadays --- repeat your campaign mantra 'til you're blue in the face.
Which is why one comment Hudak made at his campaign kickoff yesterday stood out so significantly.
Hudak's bus, unlike most party leaders, features a huge picture of himself, his wife Debbie Hutton, and his 3-year-old daughter Miller, who has had several significant health challenges during her young life.
One reporter, after all the typical talking points about taxes and hydro bills were done with, asked Hudak why he put his family's picture on the side of his bus.
Rather than spew off another tiresome talking point about working families, Hudak actually appeared to reach down inside him and say something authentic and unscripted.
"My family defines me," he said.
The way he said it was actually quite touching. And his wife Debbie, who is as tough as they come in politics (she was, after all, a former top advisor to Premier Mike Harris) began to tear up. Trust me, I have never seen that before.
So much of what we have heard and will continue to hear during the 2011 Ontario election campaign is scripted pap.
This moment wasn't. And that's the stuff that's really worth covering during an election campaign.
May we have a moment of your time?
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