One Percenters Trudeau and Obama to meet for state dinner at the White house. (CTV).
Brett Bruen shared some thoughts in advance of Justin Trudeau’s red-carpet visit this week, based on his own career as a U.S. diplomat who until recently was the White House director of global engagement.
Bruen said Canada’s new leader has an opportunity to be heard.
Bruen said Trudeau could capitalize by doing more unconventional media. He suggested reaching Americans who don’t follow the news — in places as unusual as sitcom appearances.
“Establish him as an American celebrity . . . That’s one of the unique opportunities offered by his prime ministership,” said Bruen, who left the White House last year and now advises clients at Global Situation Room.
“Here’s someone who’s young, dynamic, who’s piqued the interest certainly of pundits and observers. Now you want to go capture the interest of the man or woman on the street who’ll say, ‘Yeah, I know Prime Minister Trudeau. When he speaks about immigration issues or climate change or trade, I’m going to pay closer attention, because he’s someone that I see regularly.””
That level of attention can be a double-edged sword.
The risk-reward potential was evident last week, in two headlines in the U.S. congressional newspaper, The Hill. One may have been intended as a compliment: “’Canadian Obama’ to visit White House.” But there were some less-than-flattering responses to, “Canada’s prime minister to Americans: Pay more attention to the world.”
What’s beyond dispute is how rare all of this is for a Canadian leader.
It’s in some ways a throwback to another era. Hmmm...... PM Harper was only a mere mortal compared to these One percenters, how could they throw a state dinner for such a decent man?