Minister of state for the Olympics - that must have sounded like a sweet job to Mary McNeil when the rocky legislator and former British Columbia Cancer Foundation boss was named to cabinet over the summer. This was her chance to go for the glory of reflected gold, sharing the podium with the world's top athletes while basking in the glow of the Olympic torch.
But who did I see on NBC's Today Show earlier this week carrying that torch? Well, it wasn't Minister McNeil. It was the premier catching softball questions from the likes of Al Roker and Matt Laurer. Meanwhile, on Wednesday and Thursday, Minister McNeil was dodging hardballs from the opposition and the media about whether government-purchased Olympic tickets would find their way into the hands of Liberal friends and insiders.
So what must have sounded like a sweet job seems to have turned sour. Because when you're paying for the premier, there is an "I" on his Olympic team. And that "I" is Gordon Campbell.