It was the middle of the last term of parliament, Labor's fifth straight, and Chief Minister Andrew Barr's already icy relations with the media had just hit a new low.
Addressing a group of communication professionals about the government's new plan to bypass traditional media, he boldly declared he hated journalists and was "over the mainstream media".
It takes a lot for ACT politics to make waves nationally, but Barr's Trump-like statements did just that.
More broadly, there was growing discontent about the government, with perceptions of arrogance dogging it.
At the heart of Barr's grievances was The Canberra Times, the only daily newspaper in the city, which he said was not giving him a fair go.
For journalists at the paper, the feeling was mutual - they felt iced out from press conferences and had combative relationships with him.
But fast forward two years as Canberrans head to the polls and it's a different Andrew Barr who fronts the cameras and interacts with journalists.
The once thin-skinned leader has mellowed and has learnt to let things go. He says events in life shape you, and the fallout from those comments, along with marriage and maturity, have changed him.
His icy relationship with the media has thawed as he has let go of long held grudges.
He's also a little more relaxed and willing to let his guard down.
"I had a good hard look at myself after those infamous comments," Barr says.
"What are you getting so angry about? And OK, this is not healthy, so get over it, get some perspective on all these things and I think that made a difference.
"I will say, in my defence I'm hardly the first and nor will I be the last politician to have run ins with the media over their careers.
"But I think there's a point where you just have to think, 'OK, that wasn't good, gotta move on'."
Who is Andrew Barr?
Barr was born in Lismore but moved to Canberra as a four-year-old.
His parents were still in high school when he was born, and during his early years in Canberra the family jumped from house to house as his parents made their way through university and began their careers.
"I've lived pretty much everywhere in Canberra," he says.
"We weren't rich and we had to move around quite a bit."
He went to university at Australian National University - where he first joined the Labor Party.
While many of his friends from high school and university eventually left Canberra in search of greater career opportunities, he stuck around.
Barr has a big vision for Canberra and isn't content with it being a sleepy little city that just happens to be the home of the federal government. This point is either his biggest strength or his biggest failing - it just depends who you talk to.
It was his experience as a teenager and young adult in Canberra that moulded his view of what the city should become.
"It was pretty clear Canberra was quite limited in its offerings," he says.
"I guess that has shaped part of my thinking in how we both attract and retain young people and that that demographic issue was pretty central to how the city was going to fare.
"The city has always been a great place for families, and I think it always will be.
"But it needed to offer more for people in their 20s or else they were all going to leave."
Mentor-turned rival John Hargreaves says he and Barr are now back on good terms, after a political falling out in 2010.
Barr worked as an advisor for the long serving Labor MLA in opposition and as his chief of staff as a minister.
Hargreaves says he sponsored Barr to enter the centre alliance (the right faction of ACT Labor) in about 1997 and had singled him out as a future chief minister from the outset.
"All of Andrew's judgements were based on evidence before he actually moved forward," Hargreaves says.
He says early on in his role as convenor of the right, Barr was able to turn around the right faction, taking its representation from 20 to 40 per cent at ACT Labor conference.
Hargreaves says Barr, like Katy Gallagher, generally has a non-aggressive style and is a consultative leader.
But every now and then he will rear up and savage someone.
Barr has a tight-knit family who serve as his biggest support base. He married husband Anthony Toms in 2019 after two decades together.
"[Same sex marriage] was such a political issue in this country for such a long time, yet the event itself was about Anthony and I but also about our family and friends," Barr says.
"On one level it was so unremarkable and had no impact on anyone else's relationship.
"To think it was such a bitter fight, there was a double-edge to that day. It was great to finally be able to do it, but it also absolutely reinforced that it was one hell of a journey to get there."
Toms is a small business owner and, as Barr puts it, "not a political creature".
This makes him an important grounding force in Barr's life, who has been actively involved in politics since he was 18.
"He offers a completely different perspective on almost every issue," Barr says.
A family man
Toms takes offence if he feels Barr has been unfairly maligned, but can also be his harshest critic.
"He is a really important alternative view on a range of things and someone who doesn't get involved heavily in the day to day," Barr says.
Barr appears most relaxed when he is spending time with his niece and nephew Zoe and Angus. They love seeing him on the TV and haven't quite figured out when they hear his voice on the radio that he can't hear them speaking back to him.
Barr's family are equal parts proud and protective and have at times found it difficult to deal with the negative commentary on social media or the media.
"It seems intrusive sometimes," Barr's mother Susan says.
"I've found it hard, I'm getting better now but it does hurt."
When asked what might surprise people to learn about Barr, his father, James, says he's actually quite a shy and introverted person.
There is an ongoing joke that family dinners and lunches often turn into a version of Chief Minister's talk back - only in this version Barr struggles to get a word in.
For his detractors, Barr is arrogant and ultra defensive. His 2018 attack on the media after facing criticism and scrutiny certainly didn't help those perceptions.
I've never been the Andrew Barr cheer club leader. But I've always been critical of a particular decision, not of his personal integrity.Former Labor MLA John Hargreaves
He was resentful The Canberra Times had editorialised in favour of the Liberals and frustrated over continued reporting on shady land deals.
Barr, like all of his other current Labor colleagues, is also a man that has never been a member of the opposition - an experience many would say brings with it a certain humility.
Former ACT Labor secretary Matt Byrne says he's never seen the arrogance Barr is so often accused of.
He thinks his introversion is the root of the perceptions.
ACT politics is not known for its big personalities. The Liberals' Mark Parton is perhaps one of the only current exceptions.
"I personally think most politicians in the ACT could learn how to communicate better," Byrne says.
"That's sometimes why people get a perception of arrogance.
"I think that's genuinely something they should reflect on and try to improve."
Despite being from different factions - Byrne a member of the left and Barr from the right - the former secretary said the two enjoyed a great working relationship.
He says Barr has a very clear understanding about where he wants the ACT to go, but perhaps has not always articulated it as clearly as he could.
"It would be nice if he expressed himself a bit more because there's actually a lot to offer," Byrne says.
"It would be good for Canberrans to hear more of his story."
Hargreaves says there has always been a side of Barr which even his closest colleagues and friends knew nothing about.
"What is true is Andrew keeps a certain amount of his life private and that's what sustains him," he says.
"I've heard the word 'arrogant' about Andrew used but I've never personally seen it.
"I've never been the Andrew Barr cheer club leader. But I've always been critical of a particular decision, not of his personal integrity."
Among Barr's key detractors has been former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.
Stanhope declined to be interviewed for this profile, but his views on Barr are well known.
In regular columns in Canberra-based free weekly magazine, The City News, he says Labor has left the "working poor" behind, failing to provide affordable housing and neglecting the territory's healthcare system.
Barr has put his own big vision for Canberra ahead of the needs of ordinary Canberrans.
Hargreaves said Stanhope faced similar accusations of arrogance when he was chief minister.
"But now you look at some of the comments made of Jon ... people are saying what a wonderful human being he was," he says.
"How short the political memory is. I can't believe people are saying he was a hero."
Barr says his new perspective on life and his job has become even more apparent through the unforeseen events of the year, from coronavirus to bushfires.
"I've learnt quite a lot about how I respond to challenges," he says
"There's a bit of learning on the job, there's a bit of where you seek advice, and then there's how you reflect upon your own style.
"I have my moments where I get a bit cranky, we all have bad days.
"But I certainly feel this year in particular has been one that's had a lot of challenges, but I've been very conscious of the importance of listening to expert advice and remaining calm, and asking good questions and offering some clear decision making, then communication of those decisions."
Should Barr win the election and see the term out, he would become the territory's longest serving chief minister, just surpassing his former boss and now critic Stanhope.
He says he plans to stay the course, barring any family or health emergency.
"Elections are hard work, it's the biggest job interview you'll ever have," he says.
"I'm not running to just stay for a year. When you ask for a four-year term that's what you're signing up for."
Should Labor lose Saturday's election, Barr says he will step aside and allow a new leader to step up.
The path from ACT party leadership to federal politics is well worn. Zed Seselja did it in 2013 when he rolled another former Liberal leader, Gary Humphries, for a senate seat.
Katy Gallagher made the move to the senate in 2014, making way for Barr to become chief minister.
Barr doesn't rule out a stint in federal politics, but says it's not top of his agenda.
"I'm also very conscious of how very different it is from what we do within the ACT Parliament," he says.
"There are areas of federal policy that interest me and areas that certainly see the interface between the state and territory and the Commonwealth.
"But I contest the idea that it is so much more significant than state and territory politics."
Barr says he's been working hard to find a good balance in his life. In his household, Sundays are reserved for spending time with Anthony and his family - and it's his day to cook.
He also fancies himself a bit of a rock music historian - a virtue of the fact he has young parents.
"Everything from about the mid-1960s through to when I probably became too old to stay completely in touch with what today's teenagers are listening to," he says.
"As I've got older I've tried to broaden the range of interest and activities, I make a conscious decision that I try something new every year.
"You try and balance stuff as best you can."
Coming into Saturday's election, ACT Labor have relied on Canberrans seeing Barr as a safe set of hands to guide the city through the post-pandemic world.
His sometimes defensive style and introverted nature have made it difficult for the public to find a personal connection to Barr.
But the Andrew Barr going into the 2020 election seems a far more relaxed version than the one who went to the polls in 2016.
He seems to have undergone significant personal growth and acceptance of the limitations of his control over his government's narrative.
Perhaps he, and those around him, have also recognised that a government asking voters to let it spend 23 consecutive years in office simply cannot afford to be perceived as arrogant or beyond reproach.