Friday, March 11, 2016
Justin Trudeau's Fairy Tale Visit To The White House
Justin Trudeau's visit to the White House yesterday had an almost dreamlike or fairy tale quality to it.
Like a fairy tale it all seemed too perfect to be true.
And it was a bromance.
But as Paul Wells writes, Trudeau also used the occasion to blitz Washington, lobby the powerful, and in the process outline an ambitious agenda.
Other Canadian prime ministers have had announcements of greater depth to make when visiting their U.S. counterparts, but I don’t recall an agenda of such breadth.
It was a blitz. In Ottawa now and then, associations representing real-estate dealers or cheesemakers or research scientists sometimes organize “lobby days,” where they descend on Parliament Hill by the dozen and meet Members of Parliament in groups of four or five to plead their case on their pet issues.
The goal is to accomplish through sheer force of number what is normally hard to do: to imprint a group’s hopes or worries on the capital’s entire legislative class. This was Justin Trudeau’s lobby day in Washington.
And as Tim Harper writes, after the grim Harper years Trudeau's celebrity status is also raising the profile of Canada in the United States.
Without being noticed in the United States — politically or culturally — little of substance or positive value for this country will flow and that is the biggest takeaway from this week’s Washington invasion by the Canadian army headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry did much more. The president lavished praise on Trudeau, saying he’s never seen “so many Americans so excited about the visit of a Canadian prime minister.’’
Because in the U.S. style counts.
This will be a tough couple of days for the Canadian cynics who deride Trudeau as all style, but they will be missing the value of style in politics.
It is what the U.S. understands. Dismiss showmanship at your peril because without it, we are nothing more than squabbles over softwood lumber and country-of-origin labelling. It may not last. But right now it is a win for Canada.
But sadly, even though it is a win for Canada, Rona Ambrose just couldn't restrain herself from coming out swinging in the Commons yesterday.
Screaming like a banshee...
In a manner which made me question her judgement and her sanity.
And mocking Jim Carr the Natural Resources Minister, for not having been invited to the state dinner.
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr was left to mind the store Thursday as several key cabinet ministers geared up to sip champagne in Washington. For his trouble, Carr was ridiculed for not being invited to the party.
"How important is energy to this government when the energy minister isn't even invited to go to Washington?" she said, to laughter and applause. "I even got invited to go to Washington."
As only a Con could.
But then no doubt what's really bothering Ambrose is that Trudeau is so popular.
And that unlike him, her fallen leader was NEVER invited to a state dinner...
For as I pointed out yesterday, obvious reasons...
It is now obvious Obama really had no interest in Stephen Harper and the steady legion of gloomy Keystone-whiners landing at Reagan Airport, injecting themselves into what was considered a domestic U.S. issue.
And who is now no doubt just as bitter as Ambrose is...
If not more, much much more, for he really has been humiliated. And the sight of Justin Trudeau getting such a warm reception must be driving him CRAAAAZY.
But what I loved best about yesterday's visit to the White House was that it gave us not just a chance to tell the Americans that we're back, and that Harper is history.
And not just a chance to showcase our new Prime Minister.
And his family...
But it was also a great opportunity to show off our kinder, gentler Canadian values, in a country where intolerance is raging.
For I can't think of a better way we could help our neighbours at this troubled time in their history.
As well as help ourselves and our country recover from the horror of the Harper years.
Yes, it may be too perfect to be true.
But if this is a fairy tale, may it last as long as possible...
Because I'm enjoying every minute.
Trudeau and his princess Sophie are representing us well.
And I've never felt prouder and happier to be a Canadian...
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