Even when appearing before the Leveson Inquiry into press standards he managed to turn the talk to independence.
Praising an ombudsman for offering an "independent" view on a situation, he told the inquiry: "I like using that word."
And to the horror of Lord Justice Leveson he pounced on the judge's description at one point of Westminster as an "English parliament".
That most unflappable of lawyers appeared to instantly realise his mistake even as his description was being greeted jubilantly by the First Minister.
The judge bowed his head and his face turned a quite unmistakable shade of puce, as laughter filled the courtroom.
"Thank you for that, Mr Salmond," he deadpanned, only to have to pause again for more laughter.
After that, however, this apparently blossoming relationship appeared to deteriorate.
Despite his assured and confident performance, had the SNP leader been appearing at Euro 2012, Mr Salmond would surely have been accused of time wasting.
During the course of the afternoon he managed to recommend to his inquisitor Robert Jay, not only that he should see a play, Black Watch, but that he should also read a book by an American senator about how the Scots and the Irish built America.
"Hmmn," appeared to be the rather less than forthcoming replies to such invitations.
The upshot of these digressions was that Lord Justice Leveson was forced to allow extra time on the pitch.
This was an unusual experience at the inquiry.
Normally it breaks punctually in both the morning and afternoon – to allow the shorthand writer to recover – and finishes promptly at 4.30pm at the latest.
But the First Minister's grilling lasted almost three hours, pushing the clock towards 5pm, although there was, thankfully, no need for penalties.
When, towards the end, Mr Salmond expanded his views on how the press could regulate itself, Lord Justice Leveson appeared to grow tired.
The First Minister's offer to return to the inquiry to confirm when the precise date of the independence referendum proved the final straw.
"I don't think we will be coming back, Mr Salmond," he told him politely and rather firmly.
Many watching considered that a shame.