Now, read this little tidbit, and wonder what gestures can mean to the big picture:
Of all the sweaty palmed shakedowns, the not-so-secret pacts and the unseemly convention floor shoving matches, the most pivotal turned out to be a whimsical decision late Friday by a half dozen or so of Gerard Kennedy's ex-officio delegates to loan their support to last-place contender Martha Hall Findlay on the first ballot.
They felt confident Kennedy could spare a few votes and hoped they might be able to boost the lone female contender ahead of seventh-place Joe Volpe.
But those few votes made all the difference. Kennedy wound up slipping into fourth, just two votes behind Dion. The psychological impact of those paltry two votes on the 5,000 delegates turned out to be huge.
Dion was suddenly the guy with momentum, however slight, and Kennedy's campaign effectively stalled.
"You wonder how the momentum changes if Gerard had been in third rather than fourth place today," one Kennedy strategist mused shortly after Kennedy pulled out.
A classy Dion supporter agrees:
Two votes. That’s how far ahead Stephane moves ahead of Gerard on that first ballot. Just think about that. If Kennedy’s team had gotten just three more people out he would have stayed in third, and who knows how things would have played-out. The symbolism of being in third place, even if only by the thinnest of margins, is substantial. It’s the big mo.
You have to question the arrogance of the ex-officos thinking Kennedy had enough room to play some chess. As a Kennedy supporter, I was really worried that Dion would overtake Kennedy, because he had the ex-officos, momentum and there were lots of undeclared. I thought people were present to elect a leader, not engage in some warped sense of unity to prove a point. You know the one about the butterfly in Africa shaking its wings and that eventually resulting in a hurricane?