February 21, 2009

NEARLY ALL THE B., NONE OF THE D.S.:

Barack Obama's great gift to Stephen Harper (National Post, February 21, 2009)

The clearest sign that Barack Obama’s election has changed Canada-U.S. relations came about halfway through the 45-minute Ottawa press conference conducted by Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday, when the PM delivered these lines:

“There is no such thing as a threat to the national security of the United States which does not represent a direct threat to this country,” said Mr. Harper. “We as Canadians have every incentive to be as co-operative and alarmed about the threats that exist to the North American continent in the modern age as do the [government of the] people of the United States.”

As Terence Corcoran observed in yesterday’sNational Post, Jean Chrétien would never have uttered such a sentiment, and Mr. Harper wouldn’t have dared either if he’d been standing beside George W. Bush rather than Mr. Obama. Many Canadians would have considered it a sign that relations were growing far too cozy, and demanded a show of distance from the White House. Yet there has been no outcry at Mr. Harper’s words, even on the CBC.

And therein lies Mr. Obama’s gift to us: The U.S. President, through his immense popularity on this side of the border, provides cover for Canada’s Conservatives to hold hands with Washington in plain view. Shared goals that would have been anathema under Mr. Bush are perfectly okay under President Obama.


Sad, but true, that it took W's departure for everyone to realize that they agree with him.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2009 11:56 AM
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