At yesterday's Urban Development Institute's luncheon at the Hyatt Regency, two of the city's most senior political aides ended up sitting beside one another.
On the left is Colin Metcalfe, director of regional affairs for Industry Minister James Moore.
Moore is the senior regional Conservative minister for B.C.
Metcalfe is his eyes and ears on the ground, which means none of the federal government's major regional initiatives in B.C. escapes his scrutiny.
If the Vancouver Art Gallery isn't getting federal funding for a new building, it's probably because Metcalfe has briefed Moore on the issue and let him know that there are more important priorities for the Conservatives.
Beside him is Mike Magee, the long-time chief of staff to Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Some of the city's cynical political observers see Magee as the real mayor. Others say that Robertson shares a brain with Magee and therefore, the city is really ruled by Mayor Gregor Magee.
Mike Magee's influence is likely growing as Robertson appears somewhat disconnected from his job these days.
Metcalfe and Magee have a couple of things in common.
First, they're intensely competitive.
Secondly, each has managed a successful mayoral campaign.
In 2005, Metcalfe was the brains behind the NPA's Sam Sullivan's surprising victory over Vision Vancouver's Jim Green.
Magee oversaw Robertson's successful campaign in 2008.
Another thing that Metcalfe and Magee have in common is that they've never been elected to public office.
When he ran for the Vancouver park board as an NPA candidate in 1999, Metcalfe lost to Roslyn Cassels, the first Green politician ever elected in the city.
Magee has never put his name forward as a candidate, preferring to wield power more quietly in political backrooms.
If you're wondering why former Vision Vancouver park commissioner Niki Sharma ran for council and Catherine Evans stepped back from the nomination race and ran for park board, the answer probably lies inside the brain of Magee.
However that decision was made, it end up dashing the political career of a bright young politician who might have been reelected had she been encouraged to spend one more term on park board.
Some of us still wonder if Vision would have elected a seventh councillor in 2014 had popular former park commissioner Constance Barnes been encouraged to run for the position.