While everyone is performing Kremlinology on Harper’s CNN interview, the much more interesting piece on Harper in the WSJ goes a-begging for solid analysis. Written by Mary O’Grady, the paper’s Americas columnist and based on an ed-board meeting Harper did there, it must have resulted in some serious high-fiving in the PMO. Start with the hed and subhed:
A Resolute Ally in the War on Terror
Canadians are with us in Afghanistan. We should be with them on free trade.
How do you like them apples? It gets better (for Harper) from there on in, as the conversation courses over Afghanistan, the future of NATO, US protectionism, and free trade with Columbia. After pushing for ongoing support for the regime in Columbia:
Then he adds what is the cornerstone of Harper foreign policy: “If you don’t support your friends,” he says, looking around the room and turning up the volume every so slightly, “you . . . are . . . not . . . going to have many friends.”
Not bad play at all for a Canadian PM. The article actually reminded me of another opinion piece written in the Journal about another prime minister. In the fall of 2002, Marie-Josee Kravis (wife of Henry, and sort-of Canadian) wrote a scathing piece about Chretien as a very unreliable partner in the war on terror. She also described him as an economic neo-Malthusian and an insecure anti-American.
It was, on the whole, a terribly-argued piece written by a very influential woman in a very influential publication. The headline on the column was “Canada’s Schroeder” and it caused a fair amount of consternation in Canada, because the WSJ at the time was widely acknowledged as the morning read for Washington republicans.
Which leads me to ask: What is the most influential publication in Obama’s Washington? Does anyone have a sense of what papers or magazines (or, heck, blogs) have an influence over the new regime comparable to the one the Journal supposedly had during the Bush years?