An enthusiastic but slightly reserved vibe amid intense security preparations and blowing snow — call it Obama-mania, Canadian style.
Obama T-shirts, Obama specialty coffee beans and even an Obama burger heralded the new U.S.
president’s imminent arrival as well-wishers planned rallies and police raised barricades yesterday in an expectant Ottawa.
It wasn’t exactly a carnival atmosphere.
A winter storm and a massive police operation for Barack Obama’s six-hour visit today, his first foreign stop as the new U.S. president, helped mute the buzz.
That, and the fact that he was not expected to make a public appearance outside of a tightly orchestrated news conference on Parliament Hill.
Police were still expecting thousands of supporters to line the streets along Obama’s most likely motorcade route.
University of Ottawa student Rexy Rolle said a little snow and extra security won’t keep her away.
“Obama is such an inspiration to people around the world, and for him to come to Canada is exciting for us because we followed his race as if we were Americans.”
Rachel Decoste says she’ll be out to show her support, regardless.
She volunteered on Obama’s campaign for a year, making long-distance phone calls from Ottawa and door-knocking in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“He’s been able to be bipartisan and include people from the right and left wing in his administration, and include so many women.
“To me, that is the biggest gift he has given us: Hope and that standard of inclusiveness that works.”
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