President Obama Returns to Ottawa

Photo credit: Canada 2020

44 is coming to Ottawa! 44 is coming! Yes, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama is coming to Ottawa this week and I couldn’t be more excited.

He will be engaging in a live interview on a wide range of topics at the Canadian Tire Centre as a guest of Canada 2020. Canada 2020 is an organization whose mandate is to build a community of progressive ideas and people that will move and shape governments.

I expect the reception for President Obama to be a warm one. Ottawa has been good to him. From his first visit as President in 2009 where he caused a frenzy in the ByWard Market, where he ended up having a cookie named after to him, to his commanding speech in Parliament in 2016, his experience with the nation’s capital has been a positive one.

Discussing a politician, especially one of his stature, can be challenging. While I am a huge fan of his, I respect that many are not. I have been to enough dinner parties to know this is the case.

Photo credit: White House

Regardless, this man is very fascinating to me. Of course, we all know he was the first and only African American President. Something that he didn’t bring up, but something many people marveled at. Marveled at due to the history of the United States. It seemed unfathomable that would ever happen, but it did. And when he was elected to the highest office in the U.S. in 2008 he received more votes than any candidate in history.

While his list of accomplishments is long, what  I am most impressed with is the man himself. If you go on LinkedIn at any time you will see the that word ‘leader’ is thrown around quite often. To me a leader is someone who inspires others to be better. A leader affects change. A leader has confidence. Make no mistake abut it, Barack Obama is a leader.

I’ve been complimented on my public speaking skills many times before. Here’s a tip, if you want to be good at something, learn from those who are great at it. I’ve seen many speeches from the 44th President and am always in awe how he can command an audience. He may be one of the best orators of our time. He exudes leadership in pretty much everything he does.

When Senator John McCain, his previous political rival, knew his time on this earth was limited, he asked President Obama to eulogize him. That’s a level of respect that you don’t come across every day.

I was always touched by his strong respect for his neighbouring country to the North and that was exemplified in the ‘bromance’ he had with our Prime Minister. Besides that President Obama joined the world and stood in awe at the wonderful qualities that made us Canadian. Whether it was assisting refugees from Syria or pledging a new relationship with Canada’s First Nations.

He is also a constant reminder that regardless of your accomplishments or fame you should always treat people the way you want to be treated. Whether it was handshakes with the White House service staff or how he was open to hearing the point of view of hecklers at rally’s he was speaking at.

Barack Obama, in everything he does is…well…Presidential.

Usually when an event like this comes up, one can get excited and then turned off by the ticket prices. Not this time. With tickets starting at $75 this is an event that is budget friendly.

44 is coming and I can’t wait for the opportunity to listen to him.