Welcome, Mr. President

Edmonton, the furthest northern city in North America with a metro area population exceeding a million, last night hosted former United States President George W. Bush.

According to an Edmonton Journal article 1,950 members of that population gave the President a warm welcome, plus a standing ovation.

In addition to a few leaky, opinionated comments in the article by Graham Thomson the reportage included the observation that Bush played to an appreciative audience.

Attendees held tickets costing approximately $100 to $160 each and reportedly a reseller managed to fetch $500 “in the crush to get in”. Some said they were curious to see what Mr. Bush had to say first hand, rather than rely on media sound bites.

Edmonton is the seat of provincial government in Alberta and at times seems dominated by partisan politics rather than economics or business. Calgary, the more business-headquartered city further south, hosted Mr. Bush in March this year fetching $400 a ticket.

According to another Edmonton Journal article by Richard Warnica, there were “scores” of protestors awaiting the high-profile visitor to the conference centre. That’s another way of saying “less than hundred” if there were that many, or “forty or so” if there were not that many.

The protestors attracted the cameras so readers could catch the placards which offered the usual tired slogans. They chanted “no blood for oil,” they shouted at ticket holders (who were reported as being “smartly dressed”), and similarly offered their “thoughtful” observations.

Inside, Mr. Bush offered among other thoughts in a one-hour talk and moderated question period, that “America has no better friend than Canada”. Some Canadians are just friendlier, and more thoughtful, than others.

©Copyright 2009 Edward Podritske

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