Well, maybe not a strategic "genius"...but...
1. Make it look like Liberals and Tories have come together on Afghanistan, in a bid to take a very problematic issue for him off the table.
2. Lower expectations for the budget so that anything Flaherty gives out will be welcomed with open arms.
Clever guy, eh?
Now, as for our example of not so smart politics, I'd say this fits the bill. When you've been hit hard on the ethics issue in the past, blatantly breaking the fundraising laws right before on election strikes me as an odd tactic.