On March 10, 2016 President Obama of the United States and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada topped the guest list of famous people invited to dine on lamb chops and maple pecan cake at a White House state dinner.
On the day leading up to the event an unusually large crowd was on hand to greet Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife. “He’s so hot!” a female admirer in the crowd could be heard saying to her friend. The response wasn’t much different in the United Kingdom, Manila, or Japan on a recent whirlwind tour by Trudeau. There’s no denying that Canada’s newest Prime Minister is making a pretty big splash around the world.
According to an article in the Globe and Mail when asked at the State Dinner what he thought about Justin Trudeau, Michael J. Fox responded “He’s cool.”
This has become somewhat of a mantra around the world when people catch their first glimpse of Canada’s young Prime Minister. People are so used to seeing seasoned political veterans holding the top office in both the United States and Canada that they seem to find Canada’s young political star refreshing.
According to Wikipedia the average age of United States Presidents at the time of accession is almost 55 years and interestingly enough the youngest ever elected to office was John F. Kennedy at 43, the same age as Justin Trudeau.
However, Trudeau isn’t the youngest Prime Minister Canada has ever had. That honor belongs to Joe Clark who was a mere 39 years old when he took office.
As hot and cool as he might be, there are those who wonder if these dubious qualities will be enough to solidify Trudeau’s place as not just a leader of Canada, but on the big world stage in general.
Fen Hampson of the Center for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario had this to say.
“His likability ratings are off the charts and he is getting good reviews from foreign leaders, but it will only take him so far unless Canada is also seen to be willing to do some of the heavy lifting.”
He was referring in part to Trudeau’s muted response to the deadly Paris attacks and Canada’s stance on Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. President Obama would like to see Canada commit long term to the U.S. led military mission and this doesn’t seem to be the direction Justin Trudeau has decided to take.
It will be interesting to see if the image of Justin Trudeau being portrayed around the world will stand the test of time.
Will his “hot and cool” persona eventually merge with political savvy and make him standout among world leaders and make him the greatest Prime Minister Canada has ever had?
Only time will tell, and hey! Pass over a slice of that maple pecan cake.