He's embraced a former Liberal Cabinet minister as his foreign policy guru.
He consulted with Liberal nemesis Stephane Dion before making his move public, promising further work-together chats in the future.
He personally cleared his decision with military brass and promised, even while keeping a straight face, improved access for the national media swine to his government.
Then hawkish Stephen Harper put international allies on notice that Canada will retreat from Kandahar combat next year, even before new equipment arrives to bolster the mission and long before the job is done, unless the demands of John Manley's panel are met.
The question circulating Ottawa as MPs resumed the sitting of Parliament: Who is this guy and where's Prime Minister Stephen Harper?
A humble Harper -- two words ranking right up there with political oxymorons like "Conservative communications" -- emerged yesterday from behind his government's no-comment blockade to stake his new position on Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
It may well be a one-off behavioural change, but yesterday's version of the Prime Minister was a refreshing lurch toward compromise and conciliation by a leader often accused of being colour blind to everything but deep Tory blue.