Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big deal

So, Obama is dropping in to Ottawa for a few hours tomorrow, his first foreign trip since taking power. The Ottawa Citizen is insisting that this is going to be Trudeaumania Redux, but I'm skeptical. There are always a few rubberneckers who go along to see anything that looks like it might be in the news, but we've all but been guaranteed that Obama will be The Invisible Man when it comes to the general populace.

The security is tight, of course, and he'll be driving down Colonel By Drive to get to Parliament Hill. Not surprising - it's the most picturesque route, and at a time of year when Ottawa is crusted from end to end with filthy, rotting piles of snow, I'm not surprised they're trying to find the prettiest scenery available to impress the guest. It's a residential street, though, and people have been instructed not to open their windows during the Grand Progress. As if anyone opens their windows in February! I tried over the weekend, and found the windows still frozen shut with ice.

The big news is that Obama is bringing his own wheels for the afternoon. I don't recall Bush bringing his own limo with him when he visited Canada, and I'm sure if he did, we'd have been treated to many hours of Canadian-accented sneers about the cowardly cowboy cringing behind his 5 inches of plate glass, along with indignant sniffs about the insult to Canada of assuming that we are incapable of handling security for a visit IN OUR OWN CAPITAL. I believe I heard such "who does he think he is?" griping every single time Bush came, and even in his absence, whenever it was suggested that his Secret Service men might like to bring their own guns with them. Why, we're a sovereign country, and we have our OWN very STRICT laws concerning firearms, and no mere President of the United States should think he's above them!

Oh well, let the baby have his toys. It seems to be the only thing on his mind at the moment, as Obama has been jetting to the grocery store on Air Force One since the inauguration. What I'd like to know is, is he bringing his own snowplough? Maybe he could make himself useful, as the snow has just started to fall, and we're expecting about a foot of snow between now and the end of Thursday, not to mention some possible freezing rain.


Anonymous Bill in Ottawa said...

Most of my office was offered the choice of working from home today because of the security cordon. So I took my boss up on the offer.

I hope that Dean had either a similar arrangement or a smooth trip across downtown.

Local media are in the "all Obama all the time mode" but other than the security there isn't much to see. It would have been cheaper to fit up a secure conference facility at CFB Trenton and have Obama meet everyone there.

11:14 am  

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