Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama Will Visit Canada on February 19th

Speaking of Canada, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs revealed that President Obama will make his first foreign trip of his Presidency north of the border on February 19th.

U.S. Presidents traditionally make their first foreign trip to Canada although President Bush broke with the tradition by visiting Mexico.

The details of Obama's trip are not known. He will likely visit Ottawa although the House of Commons will not be sitting that week.

What I can tell you is that Canadians are, with apologies to Bernie Goldberg, having as much of a slobbering affair with him as the rest of the world. Although Canadians did elect a Conservative government last fall it is a left of center country. Obama will draw huge crowds wherever he goes in Canada and he won't be greeted by protesters as President Bush was when he visited shortly after his re-election in 2004 and again in August 2007. What can I tell you. Life's not fair.

If I had to guess Obama will make a stop in Halifax. I say this because Halifax has the oldest black community in Canada. I would also expect him to make stops in Canada's three largest cities - Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. I'm sure he'll also make a stop in one of the Prairie provinces and perhaps one or two smaller communities.

Obama is expected to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and will likely meet with opposition leaders. No doubt NDP leader Jack Layton is keen to have face time with his socialist compadre. Gilles Ducceppe might want to separate from Canada but no doubt he will try to be inseparable from Obama. I'm certain Obama and Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff will have plenty to talk about as they have a mutual friend in Samantha Power. Most recently she was part of Obama's transition team at the State Department (despite having called Hillary Clinton a monster.) Previously, she was a colleague of Ignatieff when he was Director of the Carr Center on Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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