It was probably a big deal for hockey fans, and for the Prime Minister who wrote a book about hockey last year, but the question is, does the endorsement of Wayne Gretzky for Stephen Harper make any difference? More importantly, can the endorsement of “The Great One” be as valuable as he would like us to think? You may think I’m referring to his endorsement of Patrick Brown for Ontario PC leader earlier this year, but no, we’re talking about someone even most Conservative want to forget about supporting.
You may remember this guy south of the border named George W. Bush. In March 2003, Gretzky wholeheartedly endorsed Bush as a “great leader” and said that he “backed him 100 per cent” in his decision to invade Iraq. And we all know how that turned out…
“All I can say is the president of the United States is a great leader, I happen to think he’s a wonderful man and if he believes what he’s doing is right I back him 100 per cent,” said Gretzky, in Calgary for a news conference for Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. “If the president decides to go to war he must know more than we know, or we hear about. He must have good reason to go and we have to back that.”
Gretzky, who makes his home in the Los Angeles area, said his children are American citizens and he has a relative fighting in Iraq.
“I have a cousin who is in Iraq right now and is in the U.S. Marines. He was there in ’91 and he’s there now and it’s a tough time for his family and it’s a tough time for all of us.
Last night at a Q&A, Gretzky told Harper, “I think you have been an unreal prime minister,” but fell short of calling Harper a “righteous dude.” It’s not the first time Gretzky’s endorsed Harper, saying last year that “It’s really amazing … the leadership we have right now. One of the greatest prime ministers ever.”
The irony, of course, is that a new law passed by the government of the “unreal” prime minister Gretzky last night publicly supported made it so that expats living abroad for five years or more can’t vote in this election. So the Great One’s endorsement is purely symbolic, but that was really kinda the point.