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B.C. Premier Christy Clark in her Vancouver office March 17, 2011. (JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
B.C. Premier Christy Clark in her Vancouver office March 17, 2011. (JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The Tell

Christy Clark: 'There is a lot of appetite … for a little bit of honesty' Add to ...

For more than four years, she was radio royalty, ruling the afternoon airwaves from the 21st-floor studio of Vancouver's top-rated station. Her audience was vast, as The Christy Clark Show reached not only listeners throughout the Lower Mainland but was transmitted to such B.C. Interior communities as Kelowna and Kamloops.

News director Ian Koenigsfest says that Ms. Clark began as a fill-in and quickly "developed into an outstanding talk-show host. She resonated with the listeners and was able to provoke, discuss and engage with people - that's what we want."

As well as surfing on her broadcast fame, she won over the Liberal faithful by arguing that, since escaping the "cocoon of Victoria," she - unlike the government - had been listening to British Columbians' concerns.

Now, of course, she must win over the public at large - something Rita Johnston, the first female premier, failed to do 20 years ago. The next election is set for May, 2013, but she has said she wants a new mandate sooner, perhaps this fall.

In the meanwhile, like any working parent, she is feeling her way through the balancing act of job versus "really intense, high-quality time" with Hamish, who is not yet persuaded that her new gig is a good thing.

"He didn't ask for this. I have to say I'm not sure he's as excited about me being Premier as I might be," she says.

"Because, from his perspective, it really just means that he's not sure how much time he and I are going to get to have together."

Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey are members of The Globe and Mail's B.C. bureau.

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