I have to admit I was one of those watching to see how America would react to our new version of Trudeaumania during an official state visit to Washington, D.C.
The first one apparently, in 19 years, which taps into our fears that our much bigger and more important southern cousins tend to take us northern folk for granted on occasion.
“It’s about time, eh?,” grinned President Barack Obama.
Yeah, kind of, but, you know, we don’t want to be a bother or anything.
Anyway, all is forgiven, if you at least pay us a little attention every couple decades or so and say nice things about us and joke about hockey and Bieber and such.
Mission accomplished, sort of.
We sent CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge et al stateside to cover it like it was a big deal, and it was for us, and we ate it up and made it front-page news all over the country, as it should be.
Somehow we always need American approval before we feel better about ourselves, kind of like a sibling rivalry thing where the older, bolder brother who left home at an early age and became successful shoots the odd compliment back to the younger bro who may have never left home but, you know, did OK too, thank you very much.
And as if to illustrate the point the parade of once Canadian now American household names that turned out to honour the Trudeaus included Ryan Reynolds, Lorne Micheals, Michael J. Fox and a very mature-looking Mike Myers was truly impressive if not instructive on how things work in the entertainment industry.
So we got our moment in the American sun and the Liberal boys seemed to get along just fine, although how that works to our advantage seeing how Obama is a lame-duck president whose best before date ends in November remains to be seen.
So we feel good about things and the president even promised to visit Ottawa before he departs the political scene, so another opportunity to strut our stuff to an American audience.
However, I was curious to see how all this Canadiana flavour was playing in the fifth estate south of the 49th parallel, you know are we still being ignored even when we think we’re in the spotlight?
Well, ironically of course, a little.
The Washington Post’s website didn’t ignore the state dinner but it was after about five Trump stories (OK, there is a run-up to an election going on and they are a little worried about this guy taking over the most powerful job in the world so it’s understandable), although ahead of the latest Johnny Manziel escapade.
Except, the angle was kind of curious as the headline read: Yes, Canada has fashion designers, and the first ladies wore them to the state dinner.
A bit of a shot, with a compliment thrown in for good measure.
The Washington Times was more self-referential with their coverage of our visit with the headline: Obama pokes fun at Canadian birth of Ted Cruz in state dinner with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Hey, at least they acknowledged we were there, and even named our new PM.
The New York Times proclaimed: State Dinner Becomes a Catwalk for Canadian Style.
Not bad, at least we have style, and it sounds positive until you read the lead of the story…..“After New York, London, Milan…..Toronto?”
Ouch. Well, they put themselves first so that tells you something too, although, yeah, I get it too.
Another story in The Post, hey that’s two, is more on the serious news front with the headline: White House state dinner for Canada is a cozy, cross-border affair.
Sounds good. We’re being taken seriously and such. The lead on the story begins….. “The dashing Justin Trudeau…..”
Hey, we’ll take it. Ahem.