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Blogosphere reacts to Obama’s visit

Bloggers on both sides of the border have been following Barack Obama’s visit to Ottawa, generally with somewhat mixed feelings.

In the US, for example, Talking Points Memo (one of the top liberal blogs) gives the visit a few paragraphs about snow falling, people skating on the Rideau, and the convenience of having Obama’s national security adviser coming along because he speaks French.

Similarly, Matt Yglesias talks about “our most important bilateral relationship,” but he sounds a bit absent-minded about it, as if reflecting that he really ought to get the gym more often.

Right-wing US bloggers are almost totally ignoring the trip, with the notable exception of Canada-born David Frum at New, who uses the occasion to recycle his column in last weekend’s National Post.

Here in Canada, Kady O’Malley at is liveblogging the visit with her trademark goofy humour. The Globe and Mail is also liveblogging, but with far less enjoyment.

Canadian right bloggers seem bemused by the visit. Hugh MacIntyre at The Shotgun sees it as an excuse for his apolitical sister to go to Ottawa just for the party.

At small dead animals, the visit is a pretext for a poster: Obama/Marx ‘08. And Dust My Broom has more fun with Photoshop, but runs into trouble spelling “masturbatory.”

Garth Turner, ex-MP turned prophet of real-estate doom, uses the visit to run a nice shot of Obama wowing Governor General Michaelle Jean, a paragraph about God descending from Air Force One, and then seguing into North America’s economic woes.

Buckdog runs some photos from Ottawa Airport and a link or two, but is clearly pleased by the event. We Move to Canada, however, says: ohmygodenoughalready about the Canadian media hysteria over Obama.

The Galloping Beaver also has some Photoshop fun, but at Stephen Harper’s expense, and with a link to an Ottawa Citizen story about a portrait gallery in the House of Commons government lobby, full of Harper photos.

Over all, both US and Canadian bloggers reach new depths of superficiality about the visit and its political portent. Perhaps when the dust settles and the Ottawa slush melts, the blogosphere will have something trenchant to say about it.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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