Here's the recap of what their panel said, with my two cents tossed in - if nothing else, it's a good excuse to look back on the first half of the 2008 political calendar.
Hebert: Flaherty vs Ontario
Coyne: L'Affair Bernier's Briefs
Gregg: NDP sucking
Rex: Liberal abstentions
Given the way the past few months have gone, I think you've got to pick a Tory scandal, and Bernier's leave-behind affair was certainly the most bone-headed move of the bunch.
I'd also nominate the somewhat misguided Tory response strategy to the In-and-Out warrants being made public.
Coyne: Afghanistan, for all involved
Gregg: Afghanistan, for Harper
Rex: Tory scandals, for the Liberals
Chantal: Tory immigration reforms
First of all Rex, I'm not sure all the Tory scandals necessarily constitute a "good play" for the Liberals, especially since it's debatable how effectively the grits have made them stick. I'm going to side with Gregg on this one - Harper displayed tactical brilliance in taking one of his largest negative issues off the table and he deserves full credit for that.
Gregg: Stockwell Day
Rex: David Emerson
Hebert: Chuck Strahl
Coyne: Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier? I'll give Coyne credit for going outside the box on this one and so long as Bernier isn't the biggest idiot in Ottawa, there may be some truth to it. As for the other selections, it certainly is interesting to see
As for my pick? Well, after his shocking election landslide this spring, maybe Ed Stelmach. Maybe it was the appetite for change in Alberta that was underrated, but maybe Special Ed deserves some (begrudging) praise for pulling it off.
Rex: Maxime Bernier
Hebert: John Baird
While Coyne's selection of Bernier as being underrated was intriguing, Rex's selection of Bernier as being overrated just shows he has trouble grasping what exactly "overrated" means.
Choosing "strategic genius" Harper and calling out of the "chess versus checkers" media narrative is certainly a worthy choice, but I'd nominate another party leader - Gilles Duceppe. Since the 2006 election, he's seen his pet issues taken off the table, had a one day run for PQ leadership, lost badly in three by elections, and sounded like a complete fool nearly every time he's opened his mouth. Yet few are willing to criticize his leadership, simply because of an artificial seat bump in 2004 and 2006, courtesy of Adscam and little else.
Like all good season finales this one will be a two-parter. Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion.