A coun­try with a view

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

It might be hope­ful spec­u­la­tion, but let’s say U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ap­points Sarah Palin as am­bas­sador to Canada. She would com­ple­ment his pres­i­den­tial style per­fectly – apt to in­sult any­one out­side or within earshot.

The Tea Party queen is the di­rect op­po­site of what most Cana­di­ans think an am­bas­sador should bring to the job. She might set Canada-U.S. re­la­tions back to the War of 1812 era, but it would be in­ter­est­ing.

For­get for a mo­ment that Pres­i­dent Trump ap­par­ently gave pri­vate as­sur­ances last Mon­day to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau that the former gov­er­nor of Alaska won’t get the ap­point­ment.

Barack Obama’s ambassadors to Canada were Demo­cratic fundrais­ers David Ja­cob­son and Bruce Hey­man. Both were eas­ily for­get­table. No one would for­get Sarah Palin.

She would cer­tainly shake up the stuffy diplo­matic corps in Ot­tawa and would rou­tinely splash Canada across North Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion screens.

If Palin could see Rus­sia from one of her Alaskan is­lands, she cer­tainly saw Canada from her back­door. As gov­er­nor, she resided well down the Alaskan pan­han­dle in Juneau – within a few km of Bri­tish Columbia, where on a clear day she could see the Queen Char­lotte Is­lands.

In a re­cent poll, Cana­di­ans were asked who would be their pre­ferred choice as am­bas­sador. Former New York City mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani is the most pop­u­lar choice, fol­lowed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gin­grich, former Mas­sachusetts gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney, Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz and New Jersey gov­er­nor Chris Christie. They make us cringe.

If Palin comes to Ot­tawa, in the spirit of NAFTA, Canada is obliged to ap­point an equally con­tro­ver­sial am­bas­sador to the U.S.

In no par­tic­u­lar or­der, how about Rex Mur­phy, Con­rad Black, Wil­liam Shat­ner, Ce­line Dion or Mary Walsh?

Black, a former news­pa­per baron, and now a con­ser­va­tive colum­nist and com­men­ta­tor, was an early sup­porter of Mr. Trump. He has a pro­file in Amer­ica, and not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause he spent 37 months in a U.S. prison for fraud and ob­struc­tion of jus­tice. These things hap­pen.

Mur­phy – com­men­ta­tor, aca­demic and au­thor – might send Amer­i­cans scram­bling for the Canadato-U.S. dic­tio­nary to trans­late his speeches. The iconic son of Car­bon­ear, N.L. en­deared him­self to Cana­di­ans from coast to coast as host of Cross Coun­try Checkup for 21 years.

Shat­ner, who spent seven decades on U.S. tele­vi­sion, will boldly go where few 85-year-old ambassadors have gone be­fore. Amer­i­cans will eas­ily warm up to Cap­tain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker and Denny Crane.

Be­sides her Grammy awards, singing megas­tar Dion has an­other up­side. At state din­ners, she can de­liver stir­ring ren­di­tions of O Canada and the Star Span­gled Ban­ner in both French and English.

Walsh, a St. John’s, N.L. na­tive, could show up unan­nounced at the White House and con­duct an in­ter­view in the pres­i­dent’s bed­room. As Marg De­lahunty, she could par­ody U.S. news, con­duct satir­i­cal in­ter­views and hu­mil­i­ate U.S. politi­cians.

Well, Mr. Pres­i­dent, you have op­tions.

As for Palin, no one needs to re­mind her to bring a warm coat to Ot­tawa.

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