Much excitement here in Ottawa these days over news that president-elect Barack Obama is reinstating a presidential practice and will visit the Canadian capital for his first international visit.
It's not clear just when his visit to Ottawa will happen, but it's something of a relief to many Canadians, particularly after George W. Bush essentially snubbed Canada by making his first foreign visit as president to Mexico. Canada and the United States are each others' largest trading partner.
Four of the last seven U.S. presidents have chosen Canada for their first international visit and that is generally seen in Ottawa as an important step in cementing political and trade relations between a new president and Canada..
Obama is very popular in Canada, especially following the legacy of Bush, whose policies and values generally ran counter to those of most Canadians. In fact, busloads of Canadians who can't wait for the Obama visit here, are making plans to visit Washington for his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
As a kicker, the makers of BeaverTails (see my previous post) will be traveling to Washington to serve their deep-fried pastries as part of a tailgate party organized by the Canadian embassy in Washington to celebrate Obama's inauguration.
The company is now testing specially made ObamaTails _ flat, deep-fried pastry topped in maple syrup with the letter O, according to the Ottawa Sun.
Perhaps the embassy got a recommendation from Hillary Clinton, who devoured a BeaverTail while on the Rideau Canal skate-way when she visited Ottawa in 1999.
But George W. Bush never stopped by a BeaverTail shack, so the ``BushyTail'' never made it off the production line.