February 19th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Canada hearts Obama

Chants of “Yes we can! Yes we can!” could be heard as thousands of Canadians lined the streets to greet Obama’s motorcade.
Chants of “Yes we can! Yes we can!” could be heard as thousands of Canadians lined the streets to greet Obama’s motorcade.

(CNN) – President Obama arrived in this snowy capital city for his first foreign trip greeted by 17 Canadian mounties – and thousands of ordinary fans chanting a familiar campaign theme.

Chants of “Yes we can! Yes we can!” could be heard as thousands of Canadians lined the streets to greet Obama’s motorcade. One hand-made sign simply said, “After God, It’s Obama.”

The President seemed to bask in the adulation as he arrived at the Parliament building for a working lunch with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

After walking into Parliament, Obama coaxed Harper to come outside the building so the beaming President could wave to the adoring crowd – a sharp contrast from the hostile anti-war protests that used to greet former President Bush’s trips north.

One U.S. embassy official on the ground here passed along a bit of insight that may help explain the diplomatic love for Obama. The official confided that thousands of Canadians crossed the border into America last year to volunteer for the Democrat’s presidential campaign in border states.

But the lovefest will not last long. Obama will be staying on the ground here for just a few hours, not even long enough to have dinner and that was by design.

Two officials familiar with the planning for the trip tell CNN the President did not want a lavish dinner during his first foreign visit – not the right image while America is suffering through a recession.


Filed under: Canada • President Obama
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. carlo

    America hearts Pres. Obama, too. Well, the majority (53%) do. That'll work for me, though. It was enough to win.

    February 19, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Jacque Bauer

    Excuse me while I puke up this super-syruppy CNN-Obama love goo.

    February 19, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    Obama you are the greatest but I hope you didn't offend them by turning down dinner.

    February 19, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Will in Carson City

    I see that Kool-Aid is an international drink.

    February 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Baze

    And the Neocon hate will start in 3... 2... 1....

    ACTION!!!

    February 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. PSL Girl

    Wonderful.....that's how an American president is supposed to be greeted. I kid you not.....he will get that kind of reception in every country he visits! Change has come to America!

    February 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. ari from virginia

    Way to go Mr. President!!!

    Keep up the great work!!!

    Thumbs UP Canada, Thank you for such a warm reception of our President.

    February 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Andi

    Thank you, Canada, our family to the North, for welcoming our President! Please ignore the angry rants of the Right on these posts. Americans support our President and we love Canada!

    February 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. A Canadian and as proud of it as you are to be American

    How do you know that the "lovefest will not last too long"?

    February 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Silly democrats, paychecks are for workers

    Canada is a pointless country full of democrats...next.

    February 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Shari, NY

    Bon jour Canada!

    That is the most innovative placard I have ever seen – "Yes (Oui) CANada".

    February 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Terry, Dallas Texas

    What? No protests?

    February 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Leadership

    After GOD it is OBAMA. Yes We Can God bless President Obama.

    February 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Mike in NYC

    “After God, It’s Obama.”

    Whoever made that sign should seriously contemplate suicide.

    February 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. luvangel330

    awwww! America Hearts Canada

    February 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. digger

    To all you adoring Canadians. Please keep obama in canada. We don't want him here. But make sure you send back Air Force One!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Patty in the CA mountains

    How nice to once again hear cheers rather than jeers

    February 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. shoegazer

    I'll bet there wasn't even one:"Hey,take off eh,you hoser".....

    February 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Kim in Canada

    Canada does ♥ Obama. I hope we continue to ♥ each other. Our countries are so completely tied in ways I am not sure many Americans fully appreciate. Protectionism where we are concerned would be extremely hurtful to both countries, and I hope that we can continue to work together so we can both recover from this economic downturn.

    February 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. digger

    It looks like the obama Kool-Aid made it's way across the north border. And I repeat SEND BACK AIRFORCE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Rose

    Isn't it GREAT to have a PRESIDENT that we can BE PROUD OF!

    February 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. L.V.

    Isn't it amazing how much respect we gained just by electing Barack HUSSIEN Obama. Imagine the (respect) deficit we would be in if we elected John McNasty and Sarah McPalin?

    I am proud of America because we showed the world that even though we have done some dumb things... we are still the smartest country on earth and we have an intellectual running our country. I mean, it only makes sense... when you hire somebody for an important job.. you hire the smartest and brightest.. not someone with a C average who is well connected like Bush.

    I Love America!!!! Before Obama and much more after Obama!!!

    February 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. naqib

    “After God, It’s Obama.”

    Pretty much sums up his following down here... except maybe Obama being listed ahead of God.

    February 19, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. vic

    The USA hearts Obama, too!!!

    February 19, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. no to corporate politics

    Hey Obama – why don't you try to smile and wave in Gaza? I hear that your buddy Israel has warmed up the crowd for you.

    Or how about in the last village bombed in Afghanistan? A Predator drone has the crowd really excited to see you.

    February 19, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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