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. mika

    WHAT HAPPENED OBAMA HATERS? NO COMMENT? OR ARE YOU SPEECHLESS SINCE YOU ARE NOT USE TO THIS TREATMENT ON YOUR FORMER PRESIDENT?

    February 19, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Matt in VA

    Obama doesn't want to send a message by attending a lavish state dinner but has no compunction in flying all over the US in his big hip-hoppin ride to campaign for the stimulus bill. He insults the Canadian government while trying to pull the wool over theyes of the American public. Maybe it wasa just too cold for him and he wanted to return to his 80 degree Oval Office. The audacity of a dope.

    February 19, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. violet

    You should have said liberals like Obama; the rest of us are extremely happy and proud to have Stephen Harper as our P.M. I'm sure we sleep better at night because of him than a large number of Americans who have to have Obama as their "leader".

    February 19, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Canadian Indian

    If it wasn't February – my husband and I would have driven the 6 hours to Ottawa for Obama's visit.

    Its a JOY to like the United States again! Congratulations USA on electing someone decent.

    February 19, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. the idiot

    Good they want him. Let them have him. Its already close to socialist.

    February 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    I'm a big Obama supporter, but even I have to admit this is a little creepy hehe

    February 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Yes Oui would have liked Billary more...Stability in the US is better than newbies spending a trillion dollars at a time trying to fix things.

    February 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Patrick Era

    YES! A leader is born NOT made – and Barack Obama is evidence of that.

    February 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Luke Brown

    Canada is a great country, and a great ally of the US. I am glad Obama made them his first foreign visit.

    They put up with a lot from us (Bush) over the past eight years.

    February 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. yuri

    Ain't it ample proof that a disarmin' smile is more forceful than wordy warfare? We are in favor of a grin more than a sinister sin, a prickin' pin, or a tinkering tin. In short, grin wins. Evidently, substance also matters. Common wisdom may favor a grinning face and a go-gettin' pace over a ragin' race for power grabbin' politics. Quiet efficiency is the ultimate buzz word, folks!

    February 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Barbara

    When I heard Obama ask Mr Harper if it would be ok if he when to say hi to the crowd that had gathered on parliament hill to welcome him, I have to say, tears were streamed from my eyes. It looked like some of his security guards were going to have a heart attach but he walked around the beast limo beaming his brilliant smile and waved from behind the bullet proof glass. I don’t think I have ever been proud to be an American before that very moment. Moving to Canada when I was young and growing up there, having to hear all the negativity towards the US for most of my life, I can finally say that today I am just as proud of the country where I was born as I am of the country where I grew up. Thank you President Obama.

    February 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. demwit

    I love Obama..., he can do no wrong.

    February 19, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Willie

    Fascinating. It appears that Canada has an unusually high moron population too.

    February 19, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. tony araka

    It is so impressive to see the world so excited about our President which will definately change our image arround the world.It is not only canada that is enthused by our new president but the whole world.Even Iraq or Afghanistan are seeing new and fresh leadership that will asher in fresh breath to the world.It is our prayers that
    God will give our president wisdom to lead our country and the whole world with diginity and respect and improve the image of America once more.We appreciate and count on those prayers arround the globe that wants Obama and America to succeed.

    February 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Tajalia

    Welcome to Canada Barack Obama!

    Yes we can!

    Tajalia Edmonton Alberta Canada

    February 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Dace Tucson AZ

    Yes they, like the rest of the world, are rejoicing the fall of one of the most evil war criminals is the history of the world that also brought the collapse of the world economy and created global suffering that no other tyrant has ever been able to accomplish. And they are probably concerned with the way his party in congress is continuing his legacy. We here in AZ are headed to third world standing with McRage and the GOP in power here increasing the bush legacy and may need to flee to Canada soon.

    February 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Kish from Britain

    when is he coming to the UK???????????????
    We'll be waiting and expecting you President Obama.........

    February 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Orlando Omoruyi

    What do you think? When you have someone who cares about others, just like Obama has, people will reciprocate your love and warm embrace.

    February 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Fred Frandsen

    I guess the president is going to Canada to complete his education on how to turn the USA into a socialistic country like France. Are any of you listening out there or do all of want Orwell’s 1984 come to fruition?

    February 19, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Sheryl

    Love is in the Air !!!

    This is so inspirational, Americans can once again be Proud of our Commander in Chief. How anyone can not Love the humility, charisma and absolute clear "American" intentions of President Obama are just plan Negative People who needs to get out of there sad life and be somebody.

    I absolutely Love Him and get tears in my eyes everytime I see or hear him from PURE JOY that I have someone to look up to and can achieve greater things in life because he Inspires me to do so.

    Who would want this Job, it definitely takes someone with Character to even consider it and he that in abundance.

    Great job President Obama !

    February 19, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Ted van Tol

    He realy brings hope all over the world.
    Everyone knows and feels it but so many Americans
    still thinking he is an empty sute.
    America, be proud and support your best and most loved
    President ever!

    Ted van Tol The Netherlands

    February 19, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Gina in Racine Wi

    It is happening......we are getting back our good standing in the World.

    America has always been a leader......when we have had Leaders who other Countries could respect.

    I am so happy that I voted for Obama

    yes we can....

    yes we did......

    February 19, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Debby

    Oh please Obama has a lavish dinner every night at the Whitehouse with a personal chef. What a bunch of crock this guy unloads on you dumb folk.

    February 19, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. america first

    So does most of America, with the exception of the REPUBLICAN PARTY,shame on them, he's their President to, and they don't even support their own President, thats what's wrong with America, no to all republicans.

    February 19, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Noah

    Is this the President of the United States or the lead singer of the biggest rock band on earth? Utterly ridiculous.

    February 19, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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