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Canada welcomes Obama (Break out the BeaverTails)

obama.jpg
(Photo:Reuters)

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.

Comments (16)

ObamaTails? That is too funny!

It doesn't surprise me a bit that he's doing something that makes sense, like visit Canada first, that W did not do. Last night, I watched clips of the last Bush press conference and boy...I had to take some deep breaths and think good thoughts. Thank god he's almost gone.

I'm planning to take a sick day next week and stay home to watch the Inauguration! Oh happy day...

I have to say that I am embarassed about the hoo haw re Obama's visit. We are like the lonely kid who sits on the sidelines of the dance and is delighted when the 'cool' kids come to visit. We need to grow up a bit as a people I think.

sandrac:

Yes, Annie, at last! A sensible president who understands the value of working with neighbours and trading partners, and not simply taking everyone else for granted!

I hope you enjoy inauguration day!!!

Jerry, I understand what you mean -- some Canadians (or perhaps the Canadian media) can get sooooo excited about any recognition from the U.S. When I was a reporter, I remember when I was forced to write numerous stories about a Regina gas station attendant whose last name was Assman and whose claim to fame was that he appeared on David Letterman (because someone in Regina sent the Letterman show Assman's name as a gag.) Writing about that -- and seeing the enormous play the stories got in newspapers across Canada -- was rather pathetic! Do we need Letterman's approval that badly?

But I think there is a certain symbolic and political importance to Obama's choice of Canada for his first official foreign visit. The relationship is important and it took a real beating under Bush.

As always, the Ottawa media goes a bit overboard. I just hope this doesn't go to Stephen Harper's enormously over-inflated head, and that he doesn't assume it has anything to do with him!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I'm sorry that Bush snubbed Canada but am totally thankful that "BushyTail" never made it off the production line! :)

I'm also glad that Obama will be visiting Canada as his first Official foreign visit. After the last two mistakes we finally made the right decision this past election! I didn't know that you were a reporter. That's really cool.

Thanks for this great post. Like Annie, I'll also be watching the ceremonies!

Jerry's comment made me laugh (love his metaphor) but it's an interesting observation too. I can see the media being gaga over Obama (because I am too) but the Letterman "Assman" thing is ludicrous!

sandrac:

Hi Kathy -- I figure that Bush snubbed pretty much everyone around the world (except, perhaps Britian and Tony Blair -- when it suited Bush to be their friend.) So, Canada is in good company!

I was a reporter for many great years, and a few not so great. So I reckon that means I get to criticize the media. At least, to a point.

I hope you enjoy the inauguration, it will be sweet....

Annie, Jerry's metaphor is great. And the Dick Assman (yes, that was his name) furor was totally ridiculous. I guess it was a slow news week.

I love that they are making special "Obama Tails" for Obama. They sound yummy!

I also think it is good that he has chosen Canada as his first place to visit. Just the fact that he is not following Bush's lead is a good thing!

I already put in my papers for personal leave for next Tuesday. Can't wait!

This is very interesting! Reminds me of the class on Canadian politics I took (was forced to take :) in graduate school...

And the Letterman story is just hilarious! That must have been so weird...

sandrac:

Absolutely, Girasoli -- it's good to see the, essentially, anti-Bush! I'm sure you'll enjoy inauguration!

Chicciola, I'd love to hear about your Cdn politics class from grad school. I'll bet it was riveting -- the parliamentary system of government, in the framework of a constitutional monarchy, etc. etc.

Sandra, the class was not so much about those things - it was sort of a given that we were supposed to know the workings of a parliamentary system and all that - it actually focused more on the complexities of a federal system and used Germany and Belgium for comparison. Germany and Canada share the federal system, while Belgium and Canada share both the federal system and the clear linguistic divisions. Compared to Belgium, Canada's federalism and regionalism seemed like a piece of cake! :)

I just have to tell you that I have been chuckling all morning long about your comment about the birthday party...better a snake than a clown. Hilarious! And I agree, when it comes right down to it. :)

sandrac:

Chiocciola, you're so right about European politics -- they can be enormously complicated. Mind you, I find that with U.S. election rules as well!

Annie, aren't clowns seriously scary? I once turned on my heel and fled a Safeway grocery store because they had a clown at the entrance, allegedly giving away balloons. Deeply scary.

Sandra, Annie, you guys are crazy!! If I saw a snake in a birthday party I would honestly have a breakdown. And I would probably never go back to that person's house again!

sandrac:

Chiocciola, you're very much like Indiana Jones. Remember his first movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, where he falls into a cave filled with snakes. ("Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?")

That's how I'd feel if I fell into a pit of clowns, shudder. ("Clowns. Why did it have to be clowns.")

Well I think it's great that Obama will return to the tradition of visiting Canada for the first official visit. It shows that he is understanding and acknowledging the relationship between the two countries, and it shows respect for Canada...

There is such inauguration fever here; I've never seen anything like it...

And thanks for stopping by 'Ritratti' again Sandra... grazie for the words of encouragement.

Dana

"Clowns. Why did it have to be clowns?"

LOL, that cracks me up!

You know, I wasn't scared of the snakes yesterday! I didn't want to hold them or anything, but they were kind of cool to look at. And it was fun watching the kids' reactions!

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