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Just in case you missed it over the Christmas break, Toronto Star columnist Joey Slinger points out that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrote an article for the Star on Dec. 23 about the 100th anniversary of the first time a team of paid hockey players hit the ice in Toronto. Slinger makes much of the paper’s modesty for only putting the story, surely quite a prize from the notoriously media-unfriendly politician, in a small space on the bottom of the front page. However, his real point was to marvel that Harper is reportedly writing a book about hockey while in office.

“[N]ever, until now, has a prime minister written a book that doesn’t set his, or her, record straight (it was unblemished). And never before in history – this is the most astonishing thing of all – has a prime-ministerial masterpiece been created while the prime minister was still in office.

Stephen Harper must like living dangerously.”

Slinger compares this writing venture to Conrad Black’s authoring of his 1,360-page book about Franklin D. Roosevelt while he was still in charge of Hollinger Inc. And we all know how well that went.

Quillblog is sure Mr. Harper will be more succinct, though its qualification as a masterpiece will have to be judged if it is published. Since hockey is a religion in this country, writing such a book could help him win voters’ hearts and minds. On the other hand, if the mission in Afghanistan goes awry or global warming disasters strike on Harper’s watch, it does leave him open to critics’ charges that he fiddled while Canada burned.

Still, it could be worse. Jon Stewart’s Daily Show mocked George Bush for not having time to respond to a committee report on the war in Iraq released in December while still finding time to release his dog Barney’s Christmas video special. Maybe that’s what makes Bush such a good neighbour and important ally.

Related links:
Click here for the Prime Minister’s original article in The Toronto Star
Click here for Joey Slinger’s column in The Toronto Star