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If nothing else, US presidents are useful for marking time. They are symbols of ages and moments.
The last President to address a joint session of Parliament before Friday was Barack Obama in June 2016, At that time Donald Trump was on the verge of being elected President. Now, Trump is on the verge of being impeached.
After that, Justin Trudeau was seven months and 25 days into his time as prime minister and his personal approval rating was plus-32. Now, Trudeau has been prime minister for seven years, four months and 20 days and has a personal approval rating of -19.
Barack Obama told Parliament in 2016, “I think we can all agree that our democracies are far from perfect. They can be messy and they can be slow, and they can be unfair to all sides of the debate.” may leave unsatisfied.” “Justin is just getting started.” So in case you hadn’t figured it out, where does this white hair come from?”
Trudeau was still the youngest man on stage – not a challenge when you’re standing next to an 80-year-old president. But now he has some white hairs. And it would be surprising if the last month doesn’t end up extracting more color than what it once was. widely commented on the head of hair,
In 2016, Trudeau had to do something other than sit back and bathe in Obama’s reflected glow. His introductory remarks lasted only 800 words and one of those words was “dudediplomacy.”
On Friday, Trudeau spoke for 18 minutes, laying out a vision and a shared agenda for Canada and the United States. Borrowing a trick from the annual State of the Union that US presidents deliver to Congress, Trudeau chose individuals in public galleries to highlight his points – a refugee from Ukraine, a steelworker from Ontario, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig,
“We must meet this moment,” Trudeau said after detailing his vision of the intersection of economic, environmental and security challenges and opportunities.
After several weeks of having every available molecule of political oxygen sucked out by a series of sensational claims about Chinese state interference in Canadian politics, Trudeau seemed to realize he needed to seize the moment himself.
Biden brings boundless optimism
While human rights groups were less than enthusiastic, Biden had already agreed to give Trudeau a political victory Amend the Safe Third Country Agreement, The news leaked even before the President reached Ottawa. But when he addressed Parliament, Biden was almost boundless in his optimism.
After the expected talk about friendship and shared values — and the expected hockey joke — Biden said he wanted to talk about “the future.” And he did it in a way that Trudeau’s liberals would appreciate.
He talked about tackling climate change and supporting clean energy. He asked his listeners to imagine how unionized workers would build zero-electric-vehicle charging stations funded by government investment. He spoke with hope and enthusiasm about zero-emissions vehicle manufacturing, critical minerals and semiconductor production in Canada.
WATCH: We will never find a more ‘stable friend’ than Canada: Biden
Biden said that his own economic agenda was focused on building a strong middle class. He said diversity was strength. And he gently rebuked the Conservatives when they seemed reluctant to appreciate the fact that both the Canadian and American cabinets comprise equal numbers of men and women.
He celebrated Canada’s contribution to the war in Ukraine, and he congratulated Canada on the efforts to free Kovrig and Spavor,” the state-of-the-art, citing the excellent work Canada has done to build a coalition of nearly 70 countries. Endorsed the declaration against arbitrary detention in rate-state relations.”
In the first four months of 2023, Trudeau had to fight for such things to be in place.
Biden is not a poet. He’s a classic American pole, able to work and entertain a room. His voice is weaker than before, but as he moves to an encouraging conclusion with praise for the American and Canadian astronauts who will soon return to the Moon, he raises his voice with a sigh and waves a finger.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in an age of possibilities,” he said. ,[Chinese President] Xi Jinping asked me in the Tibetan Plateau, can I define America? And if he had asked about Canada, I could have said the same thing. I said yes. One word… possibilities.'”
The thunderous applause nearly drowned him, but he talked through it.
He said, “Nothing is beyond our capability. We can do anything. We should never forget. We should never doubt our ability.” “Canada and the United States can do great things. Together we stand, do them together, rise together. We are going to write the future together, I promise you.”
As he walked back toward Trudeau down the middle aisle of the House, Biden winked, as if to say, “This is how you do it.” Or maybe, “Hope that helped.”