Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Archive for February 2009

Obama Overhype

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As I’m sure every Canadian is aware, and every American has no idea, President Obama was in Ottawa this Thursday. He stopped in, talked to the PM, gave a speech, answered a few questions and bought a donut. Holy Shit stop the presses! The Canadian media had field day leading up to this “event.” The day before the CBC ran a headline reading “one more day” – till what? Jesus?

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Now, I am a great admirer of Obama, I read his book, endorsed him early in the campaign and got very drunk when we won the election. But this too much. We, Canadians are embarrassing ourselves. Let’s take it easy he was just here for an afternoon for god’s sake. If you watched Canadian television over the last couple of days there is a good chance they didn’t break for more that 2 minutes from talking about Obama’s visit. Isn’t there anything else newsworthy happening? CNN and The New York Times found a few note worthy causes – economic turmoil, war in the middle east to name a few.

It has been a tradition for US Presidents go to Canada as their first foreign visit once inaugurated (this was interrupted by W, but he plays his own tune). It’s meant to emphasize the dependencies and friendship between us North American neighbours.  As far as international politics is concerned there was not much to this visit. It’s not like Obama met with Admadina$#jiaha&^8shaya in Iran.

I remember when people said they were getting sick of the all the election coverage last summer and into the fall. I could sympathize with that view but at that point a black man was possibly going to become President of the United States.  The Canadian press has had nonstop coverage of the lead up to a black man buying a maple leaf cookie.

We Canadians have always struggled to not be shadowed by our Americans cousins. And the leader of America comes to Ottawa and we forget our PM’s name. Just like how we forgot there as a federal (Canadian) election around the same time Americans voted for Obama.

It is very interesting that the US President has not only a higher approval rating in Canada than the Prime Minister but also a higher approval rating here than in the US. (Harper: 38 percent, Obama: 82 percent in Canada and 64 percent in the US)

 And you couldn’t help but see the great contrast between American and Canadian politics more plainly then seeing Harper and Obama next to each other. Obama, young looking, a minority, proud, inspiring; Harper, boring, old, forgettable, looks like an elementary school principle.

Obama’s stopover was almost like a campaign visit – he waved to a huge crowd, stopped at a local bakery and the camera’s flashed constantly. But what if Obama moved forward with policies that were harmful to Canada? Even if Harper fought against such positions, Canadians overwhelming favour Obama over the PM. Since Obama has become President it is now time to watch him and test him – the red carpet has reached an end. Americans need to always hold their commander and chief accountable. Oddly enough I hope when and if the time comes Canadians can hold this American President’s feet to the fire. 

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Written by shanedantimo

February 20, 2009 at 10:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized