February 19th, 2009
11:45 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The Great White North

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/05/art.getty.obama.jpg caption="Obama will travel to Canada on Thursday, his first international trip as president."]
Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

President Barack Obama is heading up to Canada today, his first international trip as head of state. This country is a traditional first stop for U.S. Presidents, and a place where he enjoys an 82% approval rating.

He meets with Prime Minister Harper – topics include trade, the economy and global security challenges like Afghanistan- not exactly light talking points.

Canadians will be looking closely at clarification re: President Obama’s views on Nafta, and also on the economic stimulus he just signed into law, given the Buy America provision tucked into it, + other issues.

There is a joint press conference at 245pmet and Ed Henry, traveling with the President, will have the highlights.

Everyone is still chewing over the housing plan announced yesterday by President Obama. Ali Velshi will join us tonight to continue to dissect this new multi-billion dollar mortgage rescue plan meant to stop the nation’s economic spiral, and what it means for You.

Our blogs were on fire yesterday with many of you weighing in on this plan, we had a hard time keeping up with all your comments! (ps: if you want to get your comment published, keep it clean folks, we are a PG website).

Randi Kaye may dig more on Texas banker Allen Stanford who has been charged over an int’l financial fraud worth $8 bn. The fallout continues and this billionaire has gone missing. Who are his victims? How did he swindle money from them? He and Bernie Madoff would have a lot to chat about, wouldn't they.

We are also very interested in Mexico as this country is undergoing a brutal wave of violence that some feel is akin to civil war with drug traffickers and Mexican authorities battling each other daily. Given our 2000 mile border with the US, it has direct impact up here w/some of this violence spilling into our own cities. Stay tuned, we'll have more on this soon.

And for those of you hoping the fireball seen in Texas earlier in the week was a UFO, no such luck. 2 University of North Texas astronomers believe they’ve found pieces of a meteor about the size of pecans. So much for exciting conspiracy theories to liven things up.

See u tonight!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Garry

    Garry is in Victoria BC Canada by the way....

    Great coverage on President Obama’s visit with Prime Minister Harper in Canada today…but be sure to spell the word “Ottawa” like this in your headline. C’mon ya’ll..know thy neighbours! Obama in Ottawa..way cool!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  2. Garry

    Great coverage on President Obama's visit with Prime Minister Harper in Canada today...but be sure to spell the word "Ottawa" like this in your headline. C'mon ya'll..know thy neighbours! Obama in Ottawa..way cool!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  3. Chris Morris

    Glad President Obama has so much respect for canada! I see the renewal of a great alliance.

    February 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  4. Morales

    We will not start a buy american only policy simply because we are in a global economy and we will be the ones loosing if we start

    February 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  5. Ckelly

    It was great to see President Obama in Ottawa! Welcome Mr. President!!

    Canada is a country of entrepreneurs . However we are only 10% of the population of the US. In spite of this, we are the US's largest trading partner and the most trade in the world is exchanged between these two countries as 1.5 Billion dollars crosses the boarder every day. (CBC and CNN news resources)

    Americans do not know enough about us!

    As far as being "foreigners"...yes and no...technically the USA is a foreign country to Canada. However, most Canadians have common ancestors with many Americans and a long history of brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, and children who are American or become American and from an American perspective, many Americans have relatives and ancestors living in Canada are Canadian citizens.

    The American city/community of Port Roberts exists as "American" INSIDE Canada...You drive into Pt Roberts on the Canadian side of the border (like crossing a street) and you drive out of it back into Canada...its a fun place and aside from showing your ID when entering is pretty much the same community as its neighboring communities. So really, we are not foreign to the USA and have a long history as neighbor!! Our country has its difficulties but is well run for the most part and we are all in the same economic boat.

    It would be helpful if Canada was referred by the media as a neighbor or partner and not "a Foreign country"

    February 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  6. Carrie Bradshaw, Upper East Side

    @ Anne, Newfoundland, Canada-

    RCMP – Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  7. Keith Vrabec

    Mr Obama seems to travel a lot...Esp with all the work needed to be done in DC. Seems we need a "Where's Waldo today..." button on the AC 360 home page?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    Talking about World Economics.. Joint War Efforts… How is Canada’s Prime Minister or any other Foreign Government Official for that matter ever going to be able to keep up with Obama’s benchmarks? (1000’s page blub of information in a matter of a few hours.) I guess that on matters that are important.. Just have to follow the leader?!!

    February 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  9. Grant in Ottawa

    Historical significance aside, for Canada, I think the the election of President Obama may represent an end to a period of fear, embarrasment and even loathing. The hope is that it will be the beginning of a restoration of pride in our alliance, political respect, trust in U.S. leadership, and fair play in our trade.

    NIce to have him in our capital today.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  10. anne,newfoundland canada

    They say our banking system is number one in the world,and we have health care here,that while it DOES have its problems,I am sure is envied by a lot of other places.
    So,we seem to be in a lot better shape up with OUR economy.
    Some people posting here clearly know NOTHING about ANYTHING that goes on up here.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  11. anne,newfoundland canada

    I am so sick of everyone calling us a FOREIGN COUNTRY,for heaven sake.We are not some third world nation from Africa,we are just across the border.

    Can those covering this on CNN name our Governor General,or perhap even KNOW the rest of the provinces and territories here in Canada?
    Or what RCMP stands for?
    That was CBC's Peter Mansbridge who did the interview with your president ,by the way.I saw that you aired brief parts of it on TSR.

    He is one of our main network National news anchors,the other is CTV"'s Lloyd Robertson,BOTH of them are covering the visit today.

    Those two names will not mean much to people,I would expect,except for fellow Canadians.

    February 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  12. fran besko

    xina, chicago, its quite clear you know nothing about Canadians, we do have an entrepenaurail spirit you don't see our government bailing out our banks and large businesses and bankrupting the country. Compared to the usa we do have good univeral care here. I wish Obama luck because he sure has been left with a mess to clean up and I think he will be good for your country.

    February 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  13. lampe

    rich nice: Obama has done nothing more than sign 1 or 2 bills. that does not earn him respect,that comes with time,and making sure the Bills are what is needed right now.

    February 19, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  14. J. Rogers from Regina, SK

    No mention of the environmentalists cry over "dirty oil" from the Alberta oil sands, as if any oil is clean. Any impediments would be a major issue for US refiners but no movement by the administration would be felt by part of Obama's base.

    February 19, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  15. Kelly

    Hey, Penny, when will Erica be doing correspondent work from the field like David Doss and Anderson announced she would be when she started last year? I know of some people who have been wondering and asking CNN with no response, and it hasn't happened yet. Thanks. It would be great to see her doing something other than be Anderson's sidekick.

    February 19, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  16. xtina, chicago IL

    Canadians don't have that entrepenaurial spirit. I think it's all that universal medicine up there

    February 19, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  17. Jodie

    It is great to have President Obama visit today. It would be great too if CNN knew who the RCMP are and the name of our Governor General that greeted him. This is why Canadians think Americans do not know about us.

    February 19, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  18. Mary elizabeth Williams

    Michelle darling, you have every right to be proud – Canada is a great nation. But if you weren't a "foreign country" you would be a U. S. possession – not, right? Let's keep our friendly but separate relationship. After all a 3000-mile undefended border is an accomplishment unique in the world, isn't it? and the best part is that we can visit each other so easily. I'm looking forward to Toronto this fall and the 400e in Quebec was fabulous. You guys sure throw a great party – I hope President Obama gets a good taste of your hospitality.

    February 19, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  19. Mary

    Penny, I guess Anderson will be attending the Vanity Fair party on Sunday as he usually does?

    February 19, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  20. DianeMarie Addicott

    Welcome to Canada President Obama .

    DianeMare A.

    February 19, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  21. Margaret Anne, Warren MI

    I only have one thing to say – Cindy its President Obama.

    February 19, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  22. rich nice

    The reason he is seing that kind of success is because he is doing the right things.Not the things that don't make sense.
    You guys in the Media should do the same and report the facts.stop showing one side of the story and thats bad all the time.show the man is doing a great job.And he should be complimented for it.

    what other President you know in our time have coverd so much in one month. none.


    February 19, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  23. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Penny

    I'm glad Obama is coming here to Canada . It's cold and rainy snow mix here in Ontario but this visit will heat things up. I just wish they would stop refering Canada as a forgien country we are nieghbours to the U..S. and we are proud to be Canadians ! I hope Obama can help our flegling economy too .
    Will A.C be in L.A. again ? tonight ?
    Thanks for the buzz
    see you tonight
    Michelle D.

    February 19, 2009 at 9:14 am |
    • pennymanis

      AC will be in LA through end of week- He is anchoring from our bureau there.

      February 19, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  24. Cindy

    Well I wonder what Obama is going to tell the Canadians on NAFTA!? I mean he did have his little fiasco happen during the election regarding it and them!! It's going to be interesting to see which side he takes.

    I still don't get the housing bailout. I don't see how Obama and his people are going to decide who gets help and who doesn't. There is no way possible that I can see that they are going to be able to tell who was or who wasn't in foreclosure not of their own doing. There is just no way!! People bought houses that they knew from the get go that they could not afford. So how is Obama going to be able to tell that!? You can't!

    Plus why should I have to pay for someone elses house? That is basically what it will boil down to. All of us tax payers are going to be paying for these peoples mistakes. I can see helping those that got a house that they could afford but just lost their jobs and fell into this mess. But I can not see helping those who just lived above their means.


    February 19, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  25. roberta

    We are delighted to have Obama visit. And, yes, traditional first trip for US Presidents, with the exception of that guy... what was his name... oh yeah, George Bush.

    February 19, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  26. Vicky, Ottawa

    It's cold and snowy here in Ottawa. There's excitement about the visit of President Obama, but it seems there won't be any opportunity for those of us in the public to see him, other than catch a glimpse as his motorcade passes. Tres disappointing. Welcome to Ed Henry as well. This trip with the President may be payback for Ed Henry, weatherwise, for his previous time in Hawaii with then President-elect. Tom Foreman may be somewhat happy to hear this.

    February 19, 2009 at 8:57 am |


    February 19, 2009 at 8:52 am |