Barack Obama headed abroad for the first time as president Thursday with a brief trip up north to visit our neighbors in Canada. He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other leaders in Ottawa. The two countries' trade relationship--Canada is America's largest trading partner--is expected to be the main topic of conversation.
Some more details from the AP:
The president touched down late morning in Ottawa, heading into a day of meetings on touchy topics: the crashing economy, trade fears and the troubling state of Afghanistan.
Obama was greeted off Air Force One by Governor General Michaelle Jean, who represents Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in a mostly ceremonial role. A platoon of red-coated Mounties lined a path on the icy tarmac as Obama and Jean headed indoors for a brief meeting at the airport.[...]
Ottawa was awash in buzz about hosting the new president; supporters rolled in by the busload in hopes of a glimpse. Two-thirds of Canadians wanted Obama elected, a Gallup Poll found in October. Even more said the choice of the U.S. president affected their own nation.
While many commentators will inevitably be scrutinizing the geopolitical implications of Obama's trip, the AP has taken to focusing on a different aspect of Obama's approach to the presidency: his Marine One walk.
George W. Bush walked with a manifestly brisk stride whenever he got on Marine One for the short helicopter ride to nearby Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. So, too, does Obama. But the new president at times also projects a less-formal image.
Obama smiled and waved as he walked across crossed the South Lawn under a light rain Thursday morning for his trip to Canada. He wore no raincoat despite the conditions.
Should the President really avoid wearing a raincoat in the rain? Is this too 'less-formal'?
CHECK OUT A SLIDESHOW of Obama's first foreign trip:
Obama signs the guest book upon arrival on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Obama shakes hands with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
A friendly Canadian welcomes the president.
Obama being greeted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Obama arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Obama waves as he walks in the rain at Andrews on his way to Air Force One. No umbrella!
Air Force One preparing for take off.
'Hope' comes to Canada.
Obama meets with Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean in Ottawa.