Friday April 24, 2009
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday April 24, 2009
Ignatieff comes to America, to be educated
The Leader of the Official Opposition is in town to talk with senior Obama administration and congressional figures and to deliver a speech on Afghanistan before a private audience that includes Richard Holbrooke, the President’s special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Michael Ignatieff had dinner last night with Mr. Holbrooke as well.
The Department of Foreign Affairs would kill for this kind of access.
Mr. Ignatieff is more than a moderately important Canadian politician hoping for a photo-op with a departmental secretary and maybe a senator or two.
He used to be one of the world’s better-known public intellectuals, a man more at home in common rooms than in his too-small office on Parliament Hill.
Having taught at Harvard, having been a regular contributor to The New York Times, having acted as host on BBC programs – being, in other words, a prominent member of the transatlantic intelligentsia, equips Mr. Ignatieff with an intellectual credibility in the eyes of this administration that Prime Minister Stephen Harper simply cannot emulate.
Within any culture, the question that matters is: Is he One of Us? For the Obama administration, Mr. Ignatieff is One of Us. Mr. Harper never will be. And there’s nothing he can do about it.
During his visit, Mr. Ignatieff hopes to impress his views about Afghanistan – Canada should stop shooting at people there and work harder on rebuilding Afghan society – on Mr. Holbrooke and other figures close to the President. (Source: Globe & Mail)