Envoy: You’ll miss Bush - Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.ca (external - login to view)
OTTAWA — The U.S. ambassador to this country offers an audacious prediction to Canadians who might be eager to see the back of the White House’s exiting occupant: You’ll miss George W. Bush.
David Wilkins says he’ll return home to South Carolina soon after the current president hands over the reins of power to Barack Obama on Jan. 20.
He has often described Bush as a personal friend and continues to defend his president in the face of bleak approval ratings back home and widespread contempt abroad.
Wilkins suggested in an interview Thursday that Canadians will come to appreciate this president once he’s gone.
He described Bush as a man who has kept North America safe, who has strongly supported the free trade that has enriched Canada, and who has responded to concerns over softwood lumber and border security.
Wilkins pointed to these accomplishments and predicted the president’s crushing unpopularity in Canada will not last.
"Many Canadians might be surprised by this statement," Wilkins told The Canadian Press.
And it's because of the "Free Trade" crap that many US based companies didn't have an issue cutting thousands of jobs from Canadian workers after Bush allowed his country to go down the economic drain.
"But I would submit to you that Canadians are going to miss George Bush more than they think they are."
Recent polls have suggested Canadians were more than five times more likely to support the Democratic candidate, Obama, over his Republican opponent, John McCain.
Even four years ago, before the economy hit the skids and his popularity tumbled at home, one poll suggested 82 per cent of Canadians felt Bush was "not necessarily a friend of Canada."
Wilkins begs to differ.
He said that the softwood-lumber dispute was resolved thanks to Bush’s work with the Canadian government. That the president has personally intervened on behalf of Canada when it argued against what it deemed to be excessive new border-security rules.
"I’ve seen him in meetings," Wilkins said.
"(In) bilateral meetings with the prime minister and others, (he would) caution a common-sense approach to the border and to the implementation of (the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative), and advocate that with Secretary (of Homeland Security Michael) Chertoff."
And why the hell would Bush have to caution on a common sense approach to the border, when it was him who created the whole concept of tightening up the borders, making passports a requirment, and futher slowing down traffic back and forth in the first place? Isn't that sorta like cautioning yourself on your own actions?
Holy hell this guy is doped up.
Without making any allusion to Obama’s own mixed messaging on NAFTA, Wilkins described the current president as an unwavering ally of the free-trade treaty that has seen Canadian exports skyrocket.
And he says the continent is a safer place thanks to George W. Bush.
"He has protected North America. There has been no attack on North America since 9-11 and I think he deserves a lion’s share of credit for that," Wilkins said.
Fk-You buddy, how about that?
The longtime Republican state legislator helped Bush defeat McCain in the pivotal South Carolina primary in 2000, which propelled him toward his own party’s nomination and ultimately into the White House.
He says he will be leaving Ottawa roughly around the same time that Bush leaves Washington.
Wilkins bristled at the suggestion that it might be difficult to act as the messenger of an unpopular president — and said it’s been an honour to serve the man.
"I consider it a privilege to represent President Bush and to advocate on his behalf. I don’t consider it difficult at all," he said.
The Canadian government offered a hint of its eagerness to work with Bush’s successor this week.
Less than 12 hours after Obama had delivered his victory speech, the Conservatives were already describing plans to seek a North American climate treaty with the next president.