Obamamania Inflicts Canada
Today is the day. President Barack Obama is coming for a visit. He is coming to Ottawa to briefly visit with Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
From what I hear is that Otttawa is abuzz with excitement. In spite of there being little chance to actually see or hear from the president people are flooding into the city, hoping for a glimpse of Saint Obama or at least to say they were there in the same city. Apparently, bus loads of people are coming from across the province and from several other provinces. There will be thousands gathered in front of the Parliament Buildings.
The CBC is broadcasting most of the day all about the visit which will be quite short. These broadcasts always remind me of a sermon and the writing of sermons. An allotment of time has to be filled so the classic sermon formula is used. "Tell them what you are going to tell them. . . . .tell them. . . . tell them what you told them." Try not to make more than three points. Fill in the spaces with anacdotes (parables) and quotations (or pictures ) from visits past of American Presidents when interpersonal relationships with Prime ministers were not always as friendly..
Canadians have embraces President Obama as their own. They have not felt this way about a President of the US, since President Kennedy. Canadians may be even bigger admirers than Americans. Only 4% of Canadians feel negative toward him. Even when he was in the Primary race survey's showed that Canadians of all parties from the New Democrats on the left to the Conservatives on the right would welcome him as leader of their party.
It will be an exciting celebratory time in Ottawa today, even with the snow falling and colder temperatures than Washington. They are gathering on the steets as I write this. His arrival is a couple of hours away. I have heard people interviewed who went to Washington for the inauguration. Some had even taken time off work and gone and volunteered in his campaign to become President. And now, they have followed him to Ottawa. I guess they qualify as Obamamaniacs.
Did you know President Obama has Canadian relatives. It seems he has relatives everywhere.
They are the parents of his half sister's husband.
It is too bad President Obama is not bringing his family to Canada. Canadians would like that. I can envision motorcades similar to the one's when I was a youth of the Queen's visit with people just lining the streets.
As I have been thinking about Obama's visit and listening to the complicated security arrangements I wonder if Obama has been briefed that in Canada heads of government are expected to take some of their security into their own hands. Chretien was particularly good at this. There is the time he grabbed a protester by the throat when he would not get out of his way fast enough. And of course, there was the time his wife Aline played defense when an intruder showed up at their bedroom door at the official residence. Our Prime Minister can be ambushed by comedy shows re even pied by protesters. "Only in Canada, you say!" We are not used to the heavy security American presidents get. The Prime Minister travels with a single RCMP officer. Perhaps, when the weather is better the Obama's will return as a family and move among us so we may treat them like much admired neighbours and not politicians.
Another thought. The President will be met at the airport by Governor General Michaelle Jean, our Haitian born representative of the Queen. That will make an interesting picture. I wonder if they will comment between themselves. ("We black folk have come a long way!") Probably not,
they are both too sophisticated for that. It is an image of change for sure.
The only event that seems to challenge for broadcast time today is the World Pond Hockey Tournament in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. How Canadian is that.
Site of World Pond Hockey Tournament, Plaster Rock, NB