Thursday, November 25, 2004

President Bush's Halifax Visit: Better Late than Never

President Bush is visiting Halifax next week to thank the Atlantic Region for their efforts to shelter grounded airline passengers during 9/11.

My response is, "It's about time."

Ideally, the President should have thanked our people in 2002, during his State of the Union address. It says something about the declining relationship between the Bush Administration and the Chr├ętien government that the President didn't bother to acknowledge their efforts back then.

Now there are a few members of Parliament who're a little ticked that the President wants to go to Halifax instead of addressing the joint Houses of Parliament.

Personally I don't blame him. It's not so much the fear of heckling as the fact that an Address to the Joint Houses tends to run on precedence, ceremony and tradition--stuff that is expertly handled by the protocol offices of the Department of State and the Department of Foreign Affairs. It's also the type of thing that President Bush isn't very big on; it's a little on the pompous side for him. (These are politicians, after all.)

Remember last year's Thanksgiving Surprise? That's the sort of ceremony Bush thrives on. The guy knows that outside of an election year, regular folks don't get to see the President up close and personal, not even once in a lifetime. Talking with people for whom politics isn't an addiction; that's the kind of thing where Bush is at his best.

Besides, the kitchen parties are better.

You know, if the White House staff was really smart, they'd fly in some of the air traffic controllers and airport personnel from Newfoundland to sit in on the Presiden'ts remarks, give them front row seats. Hey, it's the least they could do.