For those considering the flight in the cold light of post-caucus morning, this week offers a rare opportunity to get a closer look at the leader of their prospective adoptive country’s government. Basically, this is the guy you’d be trading for Trump: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Washington this week for an official visit.
Trudeau isn’t a bad poster boy for his country: He’s young (44), seems fun (see the “Justin Trudeau strip tease” for charity video), plus his liberal politics will likely go down like chicken soup for the Trump-hater’s soul.
But forget just creeping on his Instagram account (though don’t miss the adorable pics of him snuggling with pandas). Tire-kicking Yanks actually have a chance to see Trudeau interact with Americans during his pomp-and-circumstance-laden visit, so they’ll know what to expect should they take up residence in the provinces.
On Wednesday night, Trudeau and his equally photogenic wife, Sophie Grégoire, are slated to mingle at the Renwick Gallery with lawmakers, Canadian officials and VIP guests — including “Can’t Feel My Face” singer The Weeknd — at a private reception hosted by progressive think tank Canada 2020, the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for American Progress.
Following a day of panel discussions and bilateral bonding, on Thursday night, it’s a formal do at the White House. Protocol sticklers might insist that it’s not a “state dinner,” but rather the duller-sounding “official dinner,” since Trudeau is merely the head of Canada’s government, while Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. Nevertheless, the tuxes will be donned and toasts will be raised.
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, whose hits include “Love Song” and who wrote the music and lyrics to the upcoming Broadway show “Waitress,” will provide the traditional after-dinner performance. Maple, of course, will grace the dessert.
No word yet on the guest list, which the White House keeps close to the vest. But expect the usual mix of lawmakers, administration officials, business titans and the odd celebrity with Canadian ties to leaven the mix. (Note: Justin Bieber is from Ontario. We are just saying.)