U.S. Welcomes Clean Slate With Harper

Posted on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:34 by Jesse
The polite but restrained expression of goodwill toward Harper reflects a recognition within the White House that Harper's ability to build closer ties to the U.S. may be limited because of his failure to win a majority government, say analysts and former administration officials. "Having the word 'conservative' after Harper's name is going to please the White House and some in Congress," said former Michigan governor James Blanchard, who served as ambassador to Canada from 1993 to 1997. But while Republicans believe Bush will warm to a Canadian leader with a similar ideological bent, there is little expectation Harper would move sharply toward the U.S. on contentious issues like the war in Iraq. "I think expectations are very realistic," said David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter and now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. "No one thinks there are going to be Canadian troops in Iraq." There is, however, widespread optimism among Bush allies that Harper will make a sincere effort to improve the tone of a relationship that was badly damaged during squabbles between the White House and Paul Martin's office over trade, the environment and military co-operation. Full story: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=0a762a25-0caa-45ae-a93d-d52488fc4274&k=53239 [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 26, 2006]

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