Friday 20 February 2009

Obama in Canada

So yesterday was the first visit of the new American President to a foreign country. While I do find it a little laughable that we are consider a foreign country. I suppose the term does apply. The meeting apparently was short on policy and anything that would make any real difference judging by news paper reports.

Prime Minister Harper promoted things like Free Trade and other accords already in place with the US. While President Obama confidently down played the "Buy American" portions of the stimulus package that was just recently signed in to law. The two of the did offer up one thing "The Clear Air Dialogue" which effective states that they would talk about the environmental issues we face. Nothing about Harmonizing efforts or even working together just that they would talk.

Now the real winners out of this whole thing were threefold. First and foremost winner of the meeting is Prime Minister Harper. Who despite looking like an old man next to President Obama was able to do an about face on Enviromental issues. He claimed he was awaiting the advent of a new administration in Washington, in hopes of implementing his activist, environmental agenda. This will unlikely get the play it should in the media. Since when does it matter who is in power in the US to Canadian policy? In the end he did a masterful job of coming off looking like the good guy that he isn't.

The next winner is the two stores that Obama stopped in to make a couple of purchases. Oxxo Silk and Gift & Byward Market where apparently he popped in to pick up somethings for his two girls. One of the girls collects keychains and all of whom am sure will enjoy the Maple Cookies. One Shop own was surprised when he pulled a $5 Canadian bill to pay for things. While according to reports the other shop owner just gave him the cookies. Then sold out of nearly everything in her store minutes later after people where allowed back in.

The final winner was the Governor General of Canadian Michaelle Jean. Who like Obama is the first African American person to hold that office. A quick aside - is the term still African American if she is Canadian? The two of them spent some time talking right after his arrival, then visited for an additional 26 minutes later in the day. 6 minutes longer then planned.

Two last points that I feel are important to mention.

I am a huge news junkie and would happily watch CNN all day most days. When it comes to things like American Politics I tend to get even more interested. I followed the 2000 elections with great interest, and the 2008 one with even more interest. The funny part is for the most part I could careless about Canadian politics. Americans at least make the whole process interesting.

The final point goes out anyone and everyong in the Canadian Media. We know President Obama is Black and that he is African American. You no longer need to describe him as "the charismatic black president."

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