The following is an excerpt from a cable to President Obama preceding his first diplomatic visit to Canada in 2009...
“Your enormous popularity among Canadians (an 81 pct approval rating) is to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper both a blessing — because he can for the first time since taking office in 2006 gain politically from public and policy association with the U.S. President — and a curse — because no Canadian politician of any stripe is nearly as popular, respected, or inspiring as you are to Canadian voters…”
Breese goes as far as to say,
“Your trip will help to ensure that the government will survive an early February vote of confidence on the federal budget, in which Canada will post its first deficit in more than a decade as it provides a stimulus package of $30-40 billion.”
He tells Obama that there is “virtually zero willingness” in Canada to extend forces in Afghanistan beyond 2011, but that,
“Canada could offer up significant new funding to strengthen the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. Much will depend upon convincing Canada that its continued contributions to the Afghanistan effort are a critical component of your strategy for success in Afghanistan.”