Stephen Harper walked his nine-year-old daughter Rachel to school Tuesday in a carefully scripted photo-op designed to bolster his new warm and fuzzy image.
With news cameras rolling, a bespectacled Harper, sporting a blazer and slacks, strolled hand-in-hand with his smiling daughter amid a cluster of cameras, aides and plainclothes Mounties.
Harper twice leaned in as though he was going to give young Rachel a peck on the forehead, but then settled on a one-armed squeeze and two quick pats on her shoulder before she dashed off to the playground.
Harper spokesman Kory Teneycke characterized Tuesday's send-off - which was set up in advance by the Prime Minister's Office - as "a loving father taking his daughter to school, something he does frequently."
Belated Update (11:25 p.m.): Just read the post at Creative Revolution by 900 ft. Jesus who felt as I did, that this was an absolute disgrace. At least the Canadian Press conveyed the scene appropriately.