Departure of Tory strategist--
Updated Thu. Feb. 5 2009 6:53 PM ET
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA -- He was considered so critical to Stephen Harper's success that mere chatter about a possible election once forced him to cut short his honeymoon -- leaving his new bride alone in Japan.
Now Patrick Muttart is leaving Canadian politics.
The rarely seen, never-heard political strategist who left his stamp on the TV ads the Tories ran, the tax cuts they introduced, the slogans they uttered, and on their strategy for defending Canada's Arctic, has informed colleagues of his exit.
His objectives were consistent:
Publicly, his colleagues were loath to assess the impact of his departure. Privately, they said his influence was incalculable.
"This leaves a massive hole," said one government official.
"He taught the conservative movement in Canada how
Friends expect that Muttart and his American wife may