Editorial: Trading places

Published on February 17, 2017

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Kathy Dunderdale is ambushed by Marg Delahunty, Warrior Princess in this file photo. Ambassador Marg? Why not! — video still

Just for fun, let’s pretend U.S. President Donald Trump actually were to appoint Sarah Palin as ambassador to Canada.

She would complement his presidential style perfectly — apt to insult anyone within earshot.

Palin is the direct opposite of what most Canadians think of when they think of an ambassador. Heck, she could set Canada/U.S. relations back to the War of 1812 era, but it sure would be interesting.

(We have to set aside the fact that Trump apparently assured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday that the former governor of Alaska won’t get the appointment.)

Barack Obama’s ambassadors to Canada were almost forgettable, unless you were a devoted Ottawa-watcher.

No one would forget Palin. She’d shake up Ottawa and ensure Canada was routinely splashed across North American television screens.

Not that she was ever a first choice.

In a recent poll, Canadians were asked who would be their preferred ambassador. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was top pick, followed by former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Sen. Ted Cruz and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

But if someone like Palin actually was sent to Ottawa, in the spirit of NAFTA, wouldn’t Canada would be obliged to appoint an equally controversial ambassador to the United States?

How about a shortlist of Rex Murphy, Conrad Black, William Shatner, Celine Dion or Mary Walsh?

Black, a former newspaper baron and now a conservative commentator, was an early supporter of Trump. He has a profile in America, and not necessarily because he spent 37 months in a U.S. prison for fraud and obstruction of justice. And lately, regular Black newspaper columns laud the U.S. president.

Rex Murphy — commentator, academic and author — might send Americans scrambling for the dictionary to decipher his thesaurus-driven speeches. His steady pitch supporting the oil industry would certainly get American ears, as long as they weren’t first stultified by the bombastic Brobdingnagian prose stylings.

William Shatner, who spent seven decades on U.S. television, will boldly go where few 85-year-old ambassadors have gone before. He was particularly convincing in the 1985 mockumentary “The Canadian Conspiracy” — and Americans clearly love a good show right now.

Singing megastar Dion has an unexpected upside. At state dinners, she could deliver stirring renditions of “O Canada” and the “Star Spangled Banner” in both French and English — and she knows America well, having worked there for years.

Picture Mary Walsh showing up unannounced at the White House and conducting an interview in the president’s bedroom. As Marg Delahunty, she could … well, we hate to think just what she would do. But it would be worth seeing.

Diplomacy: far too staid in a time when clearly outrageous and theatrical flamboyance is running little things like the White House.