Geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends, economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies.
— President Robert F. Kennedy on US / Canada relations.
The US President’s first foreign trip is highly symbolic. Yesterday President Obama reinforced a long standing tradition and made Canada the destination for his first foreign trip. President Bush’s first foreign trip was to Mexico. US / Canada relations were strained throughout his entire term. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford never visited Canada at all.
Granted, this trip was more than a pit stop than an extended visit. He arrived in the morning to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ate through a working lunch, held a joint news conference, met briefly at the airport with the leader of Canada’s opposition party, and was back home in the White House in time for dinner.
Even though he only had time to pop in for a quick chat, I am glad that my native country is back at the top of the list for our new US President.