Bush in Canada

Looks like President (re-elected) Bush’s trip to Canada wasn’t all about mending fences, and telling the Canadians to get their butts in gear.

When George W. Bush this week made the first official U.S. presidential
visit to Ottawa in a decade, most news reports portrayed it as a
fence-mending, bond-strengthening mission to the Canadian capital and
Prime Minister Paul Martin.

That undoubtedly was true, as far as it went.

But according to
a source who signaled his intention to talk by placing a plant out on
his balcony, the visit had "something to do with hockey."

The possibilities:

• Bush wanted to make an official visit to a nation in which Senators have had a reputation for being easily intimidated.

• He thought it would be cool to get his autographed Paul Martin
rookie card, obtained when the Stanley Cup champions visited the White
House, signed by the Canadian PM as well as the Minneapolis-born New Jersey Devils defenseman.

• He asked Canadians to brief him on how to blame anything and everything bad that happens on the instigator rule.

• Most
important, he was going to talk with Canadian leaders about joining in
an effort to mediate a settlement on a new collective bargaining
agreement that would end the NHL lockout.

If the NHL and the NHLPA cannot work it out, and Martin and W don’t force a settlement (will never happen), how about John Kerry?

He plays hockey, he pronounces Brad Park’s name the way it’s supposed to be pronounced ("Boston goal scored by number 22, Brad
Pahk), and he doesn’t have as much to do these days as he hoped he would.

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