Obama endorses Trudeau for reelection ahead of Canada vote

Clay Curtis
October 18, 2019

"The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbours to the north support him for another term", Mr Obama wrote.

"Trudeau is in real danger", Mr Bothwell said.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, called Obama's endorsement rare and said it possibly has not happened before but he doesn't think it will move the polls.

Trudeau is seeking to remain prime minister after next week's elections, but last month his campaign was rocked by the release of photos and videos showing Trudeau with his face painted black or brown for various costumes. "If I were a Liberal [Party] campaigner I would quietly point with pride to Obama's endorsement".

Mr. Obama's endorsement was trending on Twitter and had more than 30,000 retweets and 192,000 likes by 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"I've got millions of Canadians like the ones here tonight behind me", he said after a gathering at a packed pub.

The former USA president has always been popular with many Canadians.

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The Liberals see the friendly nod from the past USA president as underscoring their argument that, despite any disappointments voters might have, or desire to move more quickly on progressive issues, they should vote for Trudeau if they do not want Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in charge.

The clock is ticking down to the October 21 vote, with public opinion polls suggesting neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives is heading for a majority government.

While some critics attempted to characterize Obama's tweet as "foreign interference" in Canadian elections, the agency overseeing the country's elections said it was not inappropriate about foreigners to express a preference regarding the outcome of the upcoming contest.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Wednesday in Ancaster, Ont., that he's not very interested in "what former foreign leaders are saying".

University of Toronto professor of Canadian history and global relations Robert Bothwell said that might have something to do with Obama's intervention.

Mr. Obama's office did not respond to questions on whether Mr. Trudeau or his campaign had requested the endorsement. Obama famously invited Trudeau to a State Dinner in 2016. Notably, not even the man who served as his vice president for eight years, Joe Biden.

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