Nothing up Harper's sleeve - except additional sleeve -

Nothing up Harper’s sleeve – except additional sleeve

Scott Feschuk: check out the winner of the Least Intimidating Cowboy championship


Belated congratulations to Stephen Harper on the successful defence at the Calgary Stampede of his Least Intimidating Cowboy championship.

You’d think the Prime Minister would get a little cocky, a little complacent, after capturing four straight titles – but no. This year, the hat/glasses combination would alone have been enough to outnerd anyone short of Tony Clement in plastic chaps, but Harper sealed the deal by wearing a plaid shirt that was at least a size too big, its mighty sleeves extending well past his wrists to the middle of his palms. He looked like a six-year-old boy who’d lost both his Mommy and his personal stylist. (Not pictured: Nice old lady buying him a sugar-free sarsparilla.)


Nothing up Harper’s sleeve – except additional sleeve

  1. Ah the fashion police are out. Nothing of substance to talk about so lets criticize the way the PM dresses. You ain't no beauty either Scott.

    • Good thing the long forum census doesn't ask about sense of humour;

    • True enough, holinm, but my capri pants and halter top are exquisitely tailored.

      • Oh, sure. NOW you answer my question about your standard deviation that I put in your mailbag.

      • Scott…..good come back. The sight of you in capri pants and halter top could make one go blind.

        • holinm, it's just an old wife's tale that doing that makes you blind. put my mental image in your mind and let nature take its course.

          • Gross.

          • Hahaha, priceless

          • Feschuk wins the prize Palm D'or! Grossing out Olaf and catching hollinm with a hairy palm all in one blog!

      • Scott, why do people in Alberta think wearing leather blazers is ok? I just don't understand.

    • Oh but it was finny when Iggy's eyebrows were mocked, right?

      • Seriously, how does this happen when you have someone who works FULL TIME taking care of your appearance!

        • That's a point. A full-time hairdresser and make-up artist plus those beautifully tailored silk suits he wears [which work until he turns sideways] ought to be making more of a difference.

          I'm guessing this is an off-the-shelf shirt….and in order to cover the belly, it's so large that the sleeves are long.

          Course he could have just rolled up the sleeves.

          • We've been waiting 4 years for the PM to roll up his sleeves and govern!

        • Not to mention a full-time stylist who KNOWS THE FUTURE!

          Did she not see this blog post from Feschuk coming!?!?!

      • Emily…….Harper may put his hair in the fridge each night but Ignatieff's eyebrows are in constant revolt.

        • LOL but eyebrows can be trimmed.

          • At least Ignatieff has eyebrows.

          • No, they are catterpillars.I have seem them wrigle.Ewwww

          • But not the eyeballs

        • Ah the hair police are out. Nothing of substance to talk about so lets criticize the Opposition Leader's eyebrows. You ain't no beauty either hollinm.

        • Hey, Iggy is in good company with those eyebrows. Einstein, Darwin, John Howard (Harper's hero), Regis Philbin, Vladislav Tretiakm (Hockey Player), Fred Silverman(TV Executive), Martin Scorsese (Filmmaker), Mark Twain, Groucho Marx (Comedian), William McKinley (U.S. President), Richard Milhous Nixon (U.S. President), John Madden (NFL Football Coach ), Winston Churchill (World Leader)……

          and we could go on and on.

          • You forgot Patrick Moore – the prince of Brows!
            There wasn't a telescope lens that his brows haven't obscured!

      • But, but, Emily those eyebrows have a life of their own

    • Come on. Ridiculing politicians' clothing styles has been a time honoured tradition since Mark Twain said, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

      • LOL since men dress pretty much the same, I don't recall it being noted before.

        I'm sure a naked politician would get noticed, but Bob Rae already did that.

        • They would be if they wear skimpy swim suits. Is that too much for anyone's imagination?

    • The man has no taste, that's half his problem. The other half is he has no class. People are going to notice.
      Why would he put on a shirt the colour of cement?

      • Or he's a sissy and afraid to show his bare arms.

  2. When I first saw this weeks ago, I was inclined to believe that he spilled something on what was supposed to be the shirt he'd be photographed in, and therefore required a new shirt, PDQ. Such things don't necessarily have the right fit when you have to buy them from the tuck shop.

    • good theory

    • "Duffy, get over here! The boss had a jelly donut accident. We have a favour to ask…"

      • Which suggests there could be a shirtless Duffy running around Calgary.

        I'll just leave that image with you.

        • You've got a mean streak a mile wide.

          • And he always seemed so pleasant.

        • Okay, shirtless, maybe. But running?

    • He is trying to hide the little Buddah belly that he has going now, oversized shirt, perhaps not a very good idea!

  3. He needed the larger sleeves to make a pig shadow on his shirt. Neophyte Laureen is sticking with the entry level rooster head, abreast.

    • Jeepers, I never noticed that! LOL

      • One could call it Pork Belly

    • Hah! That shadow does look like a pig! How long did you stare at Harper's chest to notice that?

      • Not long – it kinda jumped out at me.

        • Seeing pigs in every shadow? You must have a guilty conscience. Broken any laws lately? ;-)

          • My young eye was trained on Ed Sullivan – but you'd be too young to recognize the likes of TopoGigo and the hand shadow guy. Spinning plates on poles was also always thrilling…

    • That is the smartest (and smartassedest) thing I have read on the entire internets all week — and I am not being tongue in cheek. When I read it I laughed a mouthful of mac & cheese right out my nose.

  4. You see a man in a ridiculously oversized shirt, I see a leader with foresight. No strained seams and popped buttons at this year's all-you-can-eat chili and ribs dinner.

    • Yeah, the foresight to try BBQing with long buttoned sleeves.

      • It's only a problem if you are doing the cooking.

    • and no need for napkins when your sleeves come up to your palms.

      • Maybe he has notes on his palms like Sarah Palin

    • Remind me never, ever to take a sip of my coffee before reading posts like these.


  5. Back in the day, there where more professions than cowboys. Couldn't he have chosen some other attire more suited to his physique and physiognomy? His is not a cowboy's face.
    Now that I think about it… why arn't the accountants of the old west more celebrated for their sartorial selections? Didn't they have parlimentarians back then? Wasn't their contribution to soceity valuable? (OK, maybe that last one is fodder for some obvious jokes.)
    But nooo… it's all about the cowboys. When will we, as a nation, finally feel good enough about ourselves to really wear the clothes that represent our own personal fantasy and not some repressed oil executive's desire to run around in leather chaps?

    • Well actually our 'cowboys' played polo, what you're seeing here is an American movie version.

      • Polo? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

        Is there now or has there ever been a polo club west of Toronto? I've never seen one. Not that I have been looking or anything. All those long shafts, hard round thingies, and sweatie beasts.

          • I stand corrected. I'll track down some polo kit & wear it next year, courtesy Emily.

          • OK, I really was wrong. Calgary does have a polo club and the book you link to documents what stands for a polo "tradition" in the southern Alberta area.
            I also checked out Canada's standing in the world polo rankings, and there is even 1 Canadian in the top 50 rankings (does it work similar to golf?). Cheers.

  6. Anyone from Calgary knows that black cowboy hats are for winter, and white for summer. But then the black hat contrasts better with his grey hair, I guess. Or they wanted to go "his and hers" and Laureen had already picked black?
    Going back to the shirt, it never ceases to amaze me how of all overweight political leaders we recently had, Harper constantly looks the worse. Maybe it's a posture problem more than a chili and ribs one.

    • Maybe he was trying a tip of the hat, so to speak, to the cool kids hacker crowd. A politician has lots of different interest groups to please.

  7. Laureen looks nice.

    • Laureen always looks nice. Have seen her in person a few times – she could be a fashion model. He, on the other hand, lately seems always to look like he's on a BBQ ribs 'n valium diet.

      • It's never a good idea to outshine your wife.

    • Actually, she usually looks nice, except (perhaps just a personal opinion) when she where's that gawd awful baby pink.

      • "where's"? As in "where's Sir Francis when you need him?"

        • Thanks for letting me know – totally stupid, but I was thinking at the same time "where's Laureen's mind letting him go out like that".

          Correction: s/b wears


  8. "Tony Clement in Plastic Chaps"


    But still, maybe if he wore those to the committee last week, the members would have been too gobsmacked to ask any tough question.

  9. There's a new sheriff in town, pardner. And ya better not make any trouble in this here town, ‘cause he's mighty quick on the draw with his slide calculator…

    • … and plot a trajectory to flatten you with a wiff of grapeshot.

  10. The funny thing about the sleeves is that there's another button RIGHT THERE. It's just begging to be used.

    Just use the second button Prime Minister, tighten the cuff, and avoid (some of) the wrath of Feschuk.

  11. The sleeve is extra-long to hide something.

    Is it a new tat?


    Maybe harper's a cutter?

    Seriously that shirt is huge. Maybe he's wearing huge baggy pants too. And instead of cowboy boots, clown shoes — that's it! He's a rodeo clown!

  12. "Some folks call it a sling blade; I call it a Kaiser blade. Uh huh…"

  13. Incidentally, I feel obliged to point out that if Feschuk was ridiculing a female politician's outfit, and people were making fat jokes about her, we would be immediately inundated with cries of sexism, breathless caviling about how male politicians never face this type of scrutiny of their physical appearance or wardrobe, and grand theories about how society as a whole is preventing women from entering politics by making the venture just too unbearable.

    Personally, I think everyone's fair game, so please, don't stop on my account.

    • Now that you mention it, and as a woman, I've always thought that Rhona Ambrose looks like Lily Munsters – and Julie Couillard definitely looks like The Joker. Men strictly concentrate on certain feminine attributes, they see nothing else. Not me. I find these two women rather ugly, truth be told.

      I am no Harper fan, by any stretch of the imagination, but I find attacks on his rotund body disgraceful. However, I still feel that his face is puffy and that he speaks more incoherently without a script than any English-speaking prime minister I have ever heard. It does make me wonder about his health, and capability to lead the government.

      • Dr Who brought down a British Prime Minister with six words: "Don't you think she looks tired?"

        • I have no sympathy for the man – he loves to demean, ridicule and put down people himself (i.e. Dion) – si if he can dish it out he can take it.

          After all, he said he could take a punch, although that would be hard to do when he's always hiding

          • No sympathy for Dr. Who?

    • Although it would be nice if either everyone or no one was fair game, there is a historical context here.

      • At least part of the historical context though, I think, is that if you put on a cowboy hat or a hair net, you're fair game.

        • Unless of course you wear a cowboy hat regularly outside of the context of the Calgary Stampede, at which point you can be forgiven for the hat (the Myron Thompson exception).

          • Didn't that used to be called the Eugene Whelan Exception?

          • It's actually the same exception, legally, but historically I think the tradition is to use one name when referring to a story about a Tory, and one when referring to a story about a Liberal. If theis were a post about Ignatieff's hat, it would have been proper to refer to the exception as the "Eugene Whelan Exception".

    • It is a truth universally acknowledged that any politician, of either gender, who dons a cowboy hat and oversize plaid shirt in public must be in want of a sound mocking. However little known the feelings or views of such a man or woman may be on first donning said garb, this truth is so well fixed in the minds onlookers, that he or she is considered fair game for as long as the picture circulates on the internet.

      • What about polo kit? Would you mock that?

        • Not if it's something the person in question would habitually wear. But when politicians (of any stripe or gender) put on certain types of clothing for photo ops they inevitably look awkward and stilted, and hence eminently mock-able.

    • What female politician would EVER wear a shirt like that?!?!?

      • Hahaha, I sure hope NO ONE, that would be funny though…

  14. And, a leather jacket – in summer!

  15. To be fair, we had terrible weather in Calgary and it was actually really cold and windy, a really bad hail storm, size of golf balls and that's when this picture was taken!

  16. Actually Ontario Town, I am wrong, it was really hot when that picture was taken, the big storm wasn't until a couple of days later.

  17. I think you have to give Harper some Kudos. He is after all a Torontonian by birth, a son of an accountant, a former Reach for the Top star and frankly it shows. Trying to fit in with the Alberta kids has never been easy but he keeps pluckin away. The improvement from the leather vest cowboy is laudable. It also doesn't help that the nasty but lovely Laureen stands so close making him look even worse.

    • This is what I'm thinking too. Dude has no sense of style, nasty wife tells dude what to wear, resulting in nasty wife looking lovely walking next to frumpy dude.

      I'm not seeing a pig in that shadow. Looks more like an unusual character from a Dr Suess book to me.

    • Reach for the Top had stars?

      Also, you're very kind but he has lived in Alberta longer than many, gone to school there, worked there, represents a seat there. I think the prime minister looks awkward pretty much everywhere.

      Why do you call Mrs Harper "nasty?"

      • Well lets face it, if he had van Loan standing next to him… the plaid shirt might have been given a pass.

    • Olivia Chow looks surprisingly good in a cowboy hat. I may have to give her a sound-mocking pass. Everyone else? Just about as awkward as you'd imagine them.

      • I saw Ignatieff at Stampede last year, and while I would've chosen a different shirt, perhaps — he can definitely wear jeans and looks good in them. That's the most important thing. Plus – he looks like he can sit a horse, whereas Harper? Hopeless. Jack Layton looks good, but vain.

  18. my guess is that shirt is actually wrapped around a kevlar vest

  19. nameless lurker noted:
    "my guess is that shirt is actually wrapped around a kevlar vest "

    Probably due to the foreknowledge that the Stampede may include some "young Liberals, NDP'ers, and other terrorist sympathizers who may not appreciate Harper's pro-Israeli stance.

  20. Hey Feschuk, give us a few snaps of yourself and we'll make comments. It's only fair.

    • Oh, and then after we're done that, give us a few snaps of yourself and we'll make comments. Nice logic.

      Upset that the guy you've chosen to idolize and follow blindly is an fat ideologue who doesn't know how to dress himself?

  21. If Canada would have Fashion Police in the future, it's good knowing who would be it's probable head of chief.

  22. This is really low, nasty and mean-spirited. I would hardly call this "journalism" it stoops so low. Are there any ethical standards for these so-called "professionals"? Where is the regulatory body for journalists and what does it do? Criticising a man's appearance and his clothing — cheap and nasty insults. And what is the Maclean's budget? and what do they pay a writer like this? Unbelievable. Just imagine if any politician were ever to make similar kinds of personal remarks about their opponents or, heavens above, about journalists — say a woman journalist. It would rightly disgust people.

    • Oh dry up. Suck it up – it's fine for Ignatieff to have his very citizenship questioned by slimeball Tory reporters, but you can't say anything against Spiteful Steve – oh no. That's sacred territory.

      but – you know what happens when you suppress stuff. It gets worse, people get angrier, the articles are going to be more searing, more sarcastic, angrier — just don't underestimate Canadians, bucko. By "Canadian", I don't mean Harper either.

  23. Could he have possibly picked out an uglier shirt to wear? I know he has no taste or class – we all know that from watching him smash the china and sculptures; but couldn't someone have picked out a shirt? What's wrong with Laureen?

    Oh – right. The brown leather? jacket. And the dork by her side.

  24. i just want to say that the first page i turn to when i receive mcleans is steves – he cracks me up!!