‘Trudeaumania’ comes to White House

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought “Trudeaumania” to America yesterday and the verdict was a resounding thumb’s up.
“Breath of fresh air,” ‘’impressive,” and “very impressive” was how some of the guests at a splashy White House state dinner in Canada’s honour described the country’s new leader.
Trudeau is the boyish-looking, 44-year-old son of a former Canadian prime minister.
“He’s cool,” said actor Michael J. Fox, who was born in Edmonton.
Fox declared himself a fan of Trudeau’s father, Pierre, whom he described as the “coolest world leader going.”
“He seems to be pretty cool, too,” Fox said of the younger Trudeau.
“When I lived in Canada, Pierre Trudeau was my prime minister for 14 years and he’s my hero,” echoed actor Mike Myers, who sported a head of snow white hair for his first White House state dinner—the first for Canada in nearly 20 years.
“Now I’m thrilled to have his son as my prime minister,” Myers added.
“I think it’s going to be a great time for Canada and a great time for Canadian-U.S. relations.”
More than 170 guests sporting tuxedos and designer gowns filed in for dinner in the East Room, which was transformed by the addition of cascading arrangements of blooming orchids, hydrangeas, and amaranth in shades of green and white intended to evoke the coming of spring—much like Trudeau’s election in October has ushered in a new season in Canadian politics.
“I’m extremely proud of Canada,” said actress Sandra Oh, formerly of “Grey’s Anatomy,” who was born in Ottawa.
“Obviously, he carries the legacy of one of our greatest prime ministers so I’m extremely excited to meet him.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy said he was not the least bit surprised by the hubbub over Trudeau; the senator lives about an hour away from the Canadian border.
“He’s a breath of fresh air,” said Leahy.
First lady Michelle Obama turned again to one of her favourite designers, Jason Wu, who dressed her in a strapless midnight blue floral jacquard gown with asymmetrical draping.
Taiwan-born Wu was raised in Canada.
Trudeau’s wife wore a bright purple dress with coral flower trim by Canadian designer Lucian Matis, who immigrated from Romania.
The menu also was designed with spring in mind: halibut casserole with spring vegetables, salad with apricots roasted in ginger, cardamom, and White House honey, and herb-crusted Colorado lamb drizzled with a Canadian whiskey sauce.
The dessert cake was made with toasted Texas pecans and New England maple syrup, and was accompanied by a separate hand-crafted sugar sculpture inspired by the Rocky Mountains and bearing an assortment of petite pastries with American and Canadian influences.
Toasting Trudeau, Obama said, “Here in America, you may well be the most popular Canadian named Justin”—a reference to Canadian-born pop star Justin Bieber.
Trudeau reciprocated by paying tribute to Malia and Sasha, saying he admired them and advising them that their remarkable childhood will give them “extraordinary strength and wisdom” for the rest of their lives.