As the Hamburg G20 wraps up its second day, the main event has no doubt been the much anticipated first tete-a-tete between Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Donald Trump.
But while Trump clearly showed great respect for Putin, he apparently has much less regard for Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau.
Just prior to the start of a plenary session with all the G20 leaders, Trump struck up a conversation Brazil’s president Michel Temer, asking “How’s Brazil doing?”
“It’s better,” he said. “The economy’s booming,” he added through his interpreter.
Bashfully fumbling in the background like an errant schoolboy was Trudeau. As Trump and Temer continued talking business (inaudible), Trump concluded the conversation saying, “Okay, I’ll work that out.”
“But we’ll keep Canada out of it,” jibed Trump, pointing at Trudeau.
“No, Canada….uh…ha…no no,” was the meek self-deprecating response of Canada’s leader.
The American alpha male then patronizingly tapped Trudeau on the back before proceeding to walk away. It seems he had no intention or desire of wasting any time with little Justin. That is, until the shunned Canadian called out to him: “Donald!?”
Trump has taken every opportunity to publicly praise Trudeau, calling him “wonderful,” and doing an “excellent job,” – so much so in fact, that it now comes across as totally disingenuous and condescending – which is most likely exactly what Trump intends.
The two leaders couldn’t be further apart in terms of politics: Trudeau as a pre-fabricated cookie-cutter social liberal and Trump as the insurgent conservative populist. There is literally no area of significance in which they see eye-to-eye, from immigration to trade.
Yesterday at dinner, Trudeau was photographed sitting silently by his lonesome, while other top politicians eagerly engaged in friendly table banter.
Overall, the slick metrosexual Trudeau has cut a pretty pathetic figure at the summit. But not for being noticed behaving badly (Trump’s occasional problem).
Rather, Trudeau’s problem seems to be that no one notices him at all.
Really Canada…is this the best you can do?