Nixon Predicted Justin Trudeau Would Be Prime Minister Of Canada 43 Years Ago

Nixon Farewell Helicopter

With last night’s big victory by Canada’s Liberal Party in national elections, many news outlets have dug up an old story about the time Richard Nixon toasted Liberal Party leader, and Canada’s new presumptive Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau would be Prime Minister of Canada one day:

Even as a baby, great things were expected of Justin Trudeau, who has just been elected Canada’s prime minister, ending a decade of conservative rule.

Richard Nixon predicted Trudeau’s rise to high office in 1972 during a state visit to Ottawa, when the winner of Canada’s 2015 federal election was just four months old.

“Tonight we’ll dispense with the formalities. I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada, to Justin Pierre Trudeau,” said Nixon, who may have just been buttering up Trudeau’s father.

Pierre Trudeau, then Canada’s prime minister, responded that should his eldest son ever assume the role, he hoped he would have “the grace and skill of the president”.

Nixon resigned two year later, embroiled in the Watergate scandal, while Trudeau served as prime minister for 16 years.

Justin Trudeau was born on Christmas Day 1971 and spent part of his childhood in 24 Sussex, the official residence of Canadian prime ministers. He described several happy memories of living there in his memoir, Common Ground.

A highlight for Trudeau, who was given the codename Maple 3 by the security detail, was seeing Diana, Princess of Wales.

(…)

Trudeau said the family name was initially a reason to shun the political limelight.

“The association with my father was never a reason for me to get into politics. It was, rather, a reason for me to avoid entering the political arena,” he wrote.

But Nixon’s remarks more than four decades ago turned out to be prescient. Less so were the US diplomats who wrote in a 2009 cable on the Liberal party obtained by WikiLeaks that there were “no real stars on the horizon – apart from Justin Trudeau, who most describe as eminently likeable but sadly prone to stray off script – not the sure-fire leadership a successful Liberal party will need.”

Obviously, they should’ve listened to Nixon.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    How embarrassing, having to move back into your parents house in your 40s.

  2. ernieyeball says:

    Nixon resigned two year later, embroiled in the Watergate scandal, while Trudeau served as prime minister for 16 years.

    sa·cré bleu!
    Haven’t those Canucks heard about term limits?

  3. Gustopher says:

    Pierre Trudeau, then Canada’s prime minister, responded that should his eldest son ever assume the role, he hoped he would have “the grace and skill of the president”.

    Nixon resigned two year later, embroiled in the Watergate scandal, while Trudeau served as prime minister for 16 years.

    Pierre Trudeau then used his other two wishes on the monkey paw to see his dead grandfather again, and to make his now zombie grandfather go back to being dead. His son remains doomed.

  4. pylon says:

    @ernieyeball:

    That’s Parisien French. To sound like a real Quebecois, say “tabernac” or “calisse”.

  5. Stephen Bloom says:

    So it was prophecized? By President Nixon no less? Spare me. M. Trudeau is good looking, I’ll give you that.