Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is Obama More Infallible than the Pope?

Obama is due to visit Canada.

The following is the expected itinerary for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 19.


10:30 a.m.: U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at Ottawa International Airport, where Gov. Gen. Michaƫlle Jean greets him at the steps of Air Force One, the presidential jet. A short, private meeting with Jean follows.

11:40 a.m.: Obama's motorcade arrives on Parliament Hill, followed by a short welcoming ceremony at the Centre Block rotunda with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The pair go to Harper's Centre Block office for a 10-minute private meeting without their staff members.

12:05 p.m.: Photo-op with Obama and Harper in the prime minister's Centre Block office.

12:10 p.m.: Obama, Harper and some of their officials meet for about 30 minutes.

12:55 p.m.: Working lunch in Senate speaker's dining room for Obama, Harper and larger group of officials.

2:40 p.m.: Obama and Harper walk down Parliament's Hall of Honour to the Reading Room, with a photo-op scheduled.

2:45 p.m.: Joint Obama-Harper news conference, with two questions from Canadian reporters (English and French), and two questions from American reporters. After the news conference, the two leaders walk down the Hall of Honour to view the Library of Parliament.

3:40 p.m.: Obama's motorcade departs the Centre Block for Ottawa International Airport.

4:00 p.m.: Obama arrives at the airport for a 20-minute (approximate) meeting with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

4:30 p.m.: Approximate departure time for Obama aboard Air Force One.

(Source: Prime Minister's Office)

Some Canadians expressed frustration with the shortness and business-like nature of Obama's visit. They wonder why he can't address the parliament. It can't be dear Obama's decision. Obama is too fine a person to make such a decision. Someone must have decided that Obama will not address Palrliament, as was implied on one message board I encountered today:

"I can't believe he doesn't WANT to address our Parliament but I can't figure out who decided this."

Now who is so ungracious and stands to gain the most by keeping Obama under wraps in Canada, I ask you.

I wouldn't be commenting on this silly observation if it didn't join a list of other, similar opinions which I noticed being held about Obama. When president Bush made a policy decision that was unpopular, it was he that drew on the most invective from media and blogs alike. When Obama makes a decision perceived as undesirable by some, so far people scramble to exonerate him of any agency in that. It must be someone else, someone close to him, someone duped our dearest Obama. Obama, left to himself, would never make such decisions. It's not him. It's them.

For example:

Arhundati Roy, as cited by Norm:

"She predicts the coming months will see Obama turn into a white man and warns against expecting a miracle: "He'll have to prove that he is whiter than the white man. "

Another example:

...As for Wright, he saw a cascade of perceived slights coming from a bright young follower whose political ambitions were tugging him away from Trinity United Church of Christ.... And he made no secret of whom he blamed: Obama's political adviser, David Axelrod, a white Chicago political operative.*

I will continue to pay attention to this angle and report on it. I think some of my readers get an idea where this is leading.

[Hint: something along these lines:

"The Emanuel employeed in the White House should remind himself that intrinsically he is no better or no worse than any other American citizen when it comes to receiving health care. Therefore the healthcare benefits he receives as a government employee should be extended to all other citizens in turn." (from a blog commenter)]

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