The official Canadian visit by U.S. President Barack Obama is turning into a presidential pit stop.
The working assumption in the Prime Minister's Office is that Obama won't leave the vicinity of the Ottawa airport when he makes his first foreign trip two weeks from now.
The Obama visit, which is mainly to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper but includes a courtesy chat with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, is expected to take roughly five hours from landing to the president's return to Washington.
Technically, Canada can still take solace in the "first foreign visit" label, but really this visit hardly denotes any level of seriousness or priority. Low profile, to the point of second rate, the fact Obama will be back in Washington a mere five hours after leaving, really doesn't speak to the "special relationship", with you biggest trading partner, in the midst of serious bilateral issues.
Given all the initial hoopla, the forever diminishing itinerary is starting to look like your spouse's work Christmas party. You're obligated to go, but you can't wait for it to be over, and you're forever thinking of ways to deke out early.