“Thanks for your letter,” Reinfeldt wrote in a response to 22-year-old Sebastian Norde, a resident of Gävle in eastern Sweden.
“I think it’s a very beautiful image; you really have talent!”
It was back in December that Norde, who has been unemployed since completing an art studies programme last spring, sent Reinfeldt a handwritten letter suggesting that the Prime Minister could improve his popularity among young people by getting a tattoo.
Norde attached a sketch of the proposed tattoo, which he described as having “an old-school American” design featuring a Viking-style ship and a horseshoe over of a shield of fire.
Underneath the emblem stood the name “Filippa”, referring to Reinfeldt’s wife, who is also a prominent politician.
“If he got the tattoo, I’d vote for him for sure,” Norde told The Local in January, adding that he normally supports Sweden’s left-leaning Green Party.
While Reinfeldt said he appreciated the “creative idea”, he made it clear he had no plans to have his chest emblazoned with Norde’s design.
“It’s just not for me, quite simply,” he wrote.
“Hopefully our politics will reach people without me having to get a tattoo.”
Reached by The Local on Thursday, Norde said he wasn’t surprised by the Prime Minister’s decision.
“It would have been cool if he’d gotten it, but I sort of figured he probably wouldn’t,” he said.
“It’s pretty cool that he answered at all. I didn’t expect that.”
Norde has taken the rejected in stride, however, and is hopefull that he may receive a positive response from other public figures to whom he’s sent tattoo designs in recent weeks.
“They all ought to think about getting a tattoo,” he said, adding that he now at least expects a response following the courtesy he was shown by the Prime Minister.
“I expect to hear from people,” he said.
“After all, I included my address in the letter so they know how to reach me.”