And so the Liberal leadership tour begins

What did the three contenders do and say today?

Bob Rae, the new Liberal pitchman for the anti-Harper coalition, is off to Winnipeg for the first leg of his coast-to-coast campaign. As the Globe reported this morning, Rae is stepping over Stéphane Dion and staking his slim leadership hopes on the back of a shaky pact with the NDP and the Bloc. “The coalition is a good idea,” Rae told reporters yesterday. “What is critical is that we talk to Canadians about the economy and about our democracy because Mr. Harper has transformed our Canadian democracy. He suspended the work of Parliament and he has transformed the government into a regime.” Expect more of the same song Saturday morning at Winnipeg’s Crescentwood Community Centre. Rae takes the stage at 10:30 a.m.

His main rival, Michael Ignatieff, is in New Brunswick for a separate Liberal get-together. And if the past few days have been any indication, the frontrunner will continue to tiptoe around any talk of a coalition. It’s been widely reported that Iggy and his closest advisors want nothing to do with a socialist/separatist alliance (he was the last Liberal MP to sign a petition in favour of the plan) and if their Christmas wish comes true, the whole thing will fall apart by the time Parliament reconvenes on Jan. 26.

And Dominic LeBlanc? The Other Contender hasn’t surfaced today. Not yet, anyway. Maybe he’s working on his leadership website. It’s still under construction.

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