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Partisan Ties? Obama’s Ottawa Visit

[ 0 ] February 20, 2009 |

It seems people are anxious to read the tea leaves wondering how Obama will fare over the next four-to-eight years and whether U.S/Canada relations will improve under the new administration.  Canadians are also nervous about their own (minority) government which is likely headed for yet another election.

The media coverage of Obama’s first presidential visit to Canada was at times, amusing, especially when tv journalists asked pressing questions like ‘Why didn’t Obama call the Prime Minister by his first name?’ or ‘I am told President Obama is enjoying a beaver tail at the local market’ (that’s a fried pastry, btw).

All that overanalizing and giddy reporting encouraged me to look for my own useless clues:  I settled on their ties.

President Obama and PM Harper in Ottawa Feb.19, 2009 (photo: PMO)

President Obama and PM Harper in Ottawa Feb.19, 2009 (photo: PMO)

Throughout the U.S. election, then-senator Barack Obama appeared to make symbolic overtures to conservative voters by wearing Republican red ties.  Michelle Obama even wore a bright red dress on election night (although that dress was not tv friendly).  Now, it seems Obama has gone back to blue.  He proudly dons his party’s colors while riding a wave of optimism during the honeymoon phase of his administration.

Analyzing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tie is, like the man, a bit more complicated.  In Canada, party colors are reversed with the Conservatives owning blue.  I couldn’t help but wonder what was behind Harper’s choice of red tie with a few diagonal blue stripes.  Was he taking a page out of Obama’s election handbook employing the age-old strategy of befriend thy enemy by wearing their (Liberal) party colors?  Perhaps that little splash of blue on his tie was Harper’s way of assuaging Conservative fears that he is acquiescing to too many Liberal demands?

I can’t wait for the next presidential visit.  Hopefully President Obama will bring the First Lady giving us even more opportunities to overanalize.

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Category: Fashion

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