This is from the Globe and Mail.
This is a real fluff puff piece full of gossipy factoids signifying very little. Cognitive content: Ignatieff has personal connections to some people connected to Obama. Oh wow!
Seems the Fraser institute crowd clap when he speaks too. Well hardly surprising. Most audiences even right wing ones are on the whole polite and Ignatieff probably said little to upset them. Ho Hum!
THE OBAMA VISIT: NETWORKING
Ignatieff rides wave of interest in his Obama connections
New Liberal Leader's links to President affording him the kind of positive attention Dion could only dream of
February 12, 2009
SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER
Michael Ignatieff is just weeks into his leadership, enjoying a honeymoon period, holding parties to make nice with Liberals still in recovery from the Dion era and fighting off American news media clamouring for interviews about his strong connections to Barack Obama.
There is a buzz around the new Liberal Leader, who several weeks ago was the subject of a huge spread in the Sunday New York Times and is awaiting the arrival of a PBS television crew that is coming to Ottawa to do a documentary on him. He is garnering the kind of attention his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, could only dream of.
Meanwhile, national opinion polls continue to put Mr. Ignatieff in a favourable light and the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper are shying away from attacking him in the way they attacked Mr. Dion through a series of negative ads.
"Canadians are concerned about the economy right now, they don't want to see politicians playing political games at the moment," the Prime Minister's communications director, Kory Teneycke, said, explaining why they haven't done to Mr. Ignatieff what they did to Mr. Dion. "But we're not focused on politics right now. We're not planning to go to a campaign right now."
And in contrast to Mr. Harper, the new Liberal Leader, who is well-travelled and well-known in Britain and the United States, even has an advantage when it comes to Mr. Obama, who is visiting Ottawa next week.
"I just pick up the phone to some of my friends in his administration ...," Mr. Ignatieff said on CTV's Question Period earlier this year when discussing how close his ties are with the Obama White House.
And although their paths never crossed at Harvard, where Mr. Ignatieff taught and Mr. Obama studied, the President has read several of Mr. Ignatieff's books, according to an Ignatieff insider.
The two politicians, who will meet for the first time next Thursday, have several close friends in common: Lawrence Summers, head of the White House's National Economic Council, is the former president of Harvard. He and his wife and Mr. Ignatieff and his wife, Zsuzsanna Zsohar, travel together, having spent part of a summer in the south of France.
Samantha Power and Cass Sunstein, the Obama power couple, are also friends with the Ignatieffs.
Ms. Power, a Pulitizer Prize winning author and Harvard professor, served on the Obama transition team and now has a senior job with the National Security Council. Her husband is the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Ms. Power visited with the Ignatieffs last summer when she was in the country promoting a new book.
And while Mr. Ignatieff says he can pick up the phone to call the White House, his senior staffers say that his MPs can pick up the phone to call him. In fact, about 300 Liberal staffers, MPs and senators showed up to partake of Canadian wine and cheese at his office Tuesday night where he thanked them for being the "real guts of the organization."
Earlier that afternoon, he met with a group from the right-wing Fraser Institute - including former Alberta premier Ralph Klein - who applauded after he spoke to them. So surprised was a senior Ignatieff staffer that he called over a colleague to witness the right-wingers clapping for the left-leaning Liberal Leader.