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Is Harper George W. Bush's late Christmas gift?

[PoliticsWatch Updated 5:45 p.m. December 2, 2005]

A U.S. political observer says Stephen Harper becoming prime minister would make a great late-Christmas gift for George W. Bush. 

OTTAWA  — Prime Minister Paul Martin got the endorsement of Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove Friday, but Conservative leader Stephen Harper may have been given an even larger endorsement.  

The conservative Washington newspaper, The Washington Times printed an opinion piece by Patrick Basham, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, in which he described Harper as Canada's late Christmas gift to America.

"Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year?" Basham asks. "Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. 

"Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative," wrote Basham in a piece that sounded like it was written by a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters in both the NDP and Liberal war rooms. 

"Move over Tony Blair: If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader."

Basham concludes by saying, "A Harper victory may prove to be the exception to the international rule -- a rare foreign event that manages to put a smile on President George W. Bush's face."

Somebody writes that stuff? 

Martin's speech writer Scott Feschuk's campaign blog is starting to get more ink than the entire NDP campaign. 

On Wednesday, Feschuk became the subject of an impromptu and incorrect press conference by the Tories about an allegedly offensive blog post he made about readers of a defunct 1970s science magazine published by Bob Guccione. Read this PoliticsWatch story for more details on that. 

On Friday, Feschuk, who once was the brains behind the National Post's Post-Mortem humour page, responded to some of the mail he has been receiving. Here's a sample. 

10:32 AM - Dear Blog Boy: I was just wondering how many times you get the Prime Minister to say "fundamentally" in a speech? It sure seems a bit excessive! - J.H.

Thank you for your very, very important question. Make no mistake: fundamentally, the Prime Minister is a man who, essentially, speaks in a very, very distinctive way. Let me be clear: we have pointed this out to him. And fundamentally, what he has said in reply is, essentially, that we should be very, very quiet and go away.

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