Politicians in Cowboy Hats: Come Hell or High Water

For a brief history of Stampede fashion, you can read the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 round-ups – or last year’s “100 Years of Bad Photo-Ops

Flood waters cannot stop the Stampede and flood waters cannot stop politicians from the annual ritual of self humiliation known as the cowboy hat photo-op. Indeed, if there’s one photo op even more irresistible than the Stampede, it’s a post-disaster zone tour.



The Flood Aftermath

Stephen Harper was the first on the scene, playing dress-up in a Canadian Forces flight jacket, complete with pilot wings. Harper defended his wardrobe choice by saying he was honouring the military – I tend to think a better way to honour them would have been allowing Afghanistan troops to keep their danger pay.

Stephen Harper, Naheed Nenshi, Alison Reford

Next up would be Thomas Mulcair, sporting the official Stampede “hell or high water” t-shirt – four words that in southern Alberta usually follow “I’m never voting NDP come…”.

Mulcair stampede

Justin Trudeau put on his coveralls, got his hands dirty, and made history becoming the first aspiring Prime Minister to ever sport a backwards baseball cap:

trudeau work

While I have no doubts the Tory war room was dreaming up attack ads to use this picture in, at least Justin didn’t ruin a perfectly good pair of jeans:

harper relief 2 - wish he'd worn coveralls



Stampede Round-Up

But we were told come hell or high water the show must go on, so it was time for the politicians to pick up a cowboy hat and flip some pancakes. Alberta Premier Alison Redford proved to be a bit over eager on this front, sending her pancake into orbit, in what I can only assume was an attempt to out-flip Danielle Smith.

redford flips pancake

Although Chris Hadfield was the Stampede grand marshal this year, it appears that Justin Trudeau once again managed to overshadow an astronaut. Because everywhere you looked this weekend, there was Justin. At one point yesterday the Calgary Herald had three separate Trudeau stories on their website – this likely isn’t the first time that’s ever happened, but I suspect it’s the first time none of the stories involved effigies.

trudeau stampede headlines

Mercifully, Justin decided to forego cargo shorts in favour of jeans and belt buckle. It remains to be seen if he’s a big thinker, but the “XL” tag on his hat at least shows he’s got a big head.

trudeau stampede

And here’s Justin – again – with Calgary’s mayor and international Twitter superstar Naheed Nenshi. I’m not sure I agree with the FastForward survey which named Nenshi the “sexiest Calgarian“, but he’s certainly the most huggable.

trudeau nenshi hug



Also Pictured

Devinder Shory, Joe Oliver, Michelle Rempel, and Danielle Smith. (Thanks to MC for the photo)

Devinder Shory, Joe Oliver, Michelle Rempel, and Danielle Smith. (Thanks to MC for the tip on this one)

If recent scandals take down Alison Redford, she will at least have a fruitful career as a children's entertainer.

If recent scandals take down Alison Redford, she will at least have a fruitful career as a children’s entertainer.

Kidding aside, Redford actually gets my vote for "Best Dressed" this year. Not only did she cycle through a series of outfits, she is the first politician I've seen pull off a "Stampede skirt".

Kidding aside, Redford actually gets my vote for “Best Dressed” this year. Not only did she cycle through a series of outfits, she is the first politician I’ve seen pull off a “Stampede skirt”.

There were no disasters this year, but Jean Charest take home the "Worst Dressed" honours - it's a nice hat, but he looks completely out of place in the suit jacket.

There were no disasters this year, but Jean Charest take home the “Worst Dressed” honours – it’s a nice hat, but he looks completely out of place in the suit jacket.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Featured Posts, Humour, Politicians in Cowboy Hats

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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7 Responses to Politicians in Cowboy Hats: Come Hell or High Water

  1. Jordan

    The XL on Trudeau’s hat was actually to show that he supports the Keystone XL pipeline.

  2. Linda Shellington

    I LOVE the backwards baseball cap! Sweet!

  3. nbpolitico

    What was Charest doing in Calgary? Ramping up for a return to federal politics?

    • jared

      presumably testing the federal Conservative leadership waters.

  4. The Invisible Hand

    Gerry Nicholls, May 6th: “Next Liberal video will feature Justin wearing a baseball cap backwards…”

  5. jared

    Justin is so dreamy.

  6. The Keystone Garter

    It looks like the most efficient large scaleable use of dwindling petrochemical stocks is to refine them into PET and make organic solar cells whose PET component is easily recyclable (it would have to easily come apart from the diode which would tend to wear out and the diode mustn’t contaminate the PET layer(s)). Thermoplastics can be melted at a temperature low enough where stronger chemical bonds aren’t broken. IN theory can be recycled indefinitely. Right now organic solar cells aren’t efficient enough and probably recycling the plastics layer hasn’t been contemplated in the design.
    They might never be efficient enough but probably will be. There are other scaleable future products too (fuel and heating oil cause AGW, not scaleable over decades despite the dumb rich rhetoric), maybe medical equipment or future utility-scale battery components or something. But this seems simpler, more likely, and more elegant. In one fell swoop NG (best as many hydrogen atoms so lowest footprint here), oil, and to a lesser extend higher footprint tar and coal cracking, can become mostly renewable (after a few dozen recyclings or less the plastic’s strong chemical bonds probably degrade), and Green.
    Still no serious talk of a floodway yet, eh?

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