Now here’s something you don’t see everyday: A conservative praising President Obama’s efforts to establish universal health care, despite the political risks, denouncing the attacks against him — and even declaring that 50 years from now, Americans will revere his name.
The catch is that in this case, the conservative in question is from another country: Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Mulroney spoke to a gathering of Conservative Party supporters, the Canadian Press reports, and spoke on the nature of political leadership:
“Political capital is acquired to spend in great causes for one’s country,” Mulroney said Thursday.
“Prime ministers are not chosen to seek popularity. They are chosen to provide leadership … President Obama is fighting for a form of universal health care and is encountering ferocious resistance.
“The attacks on President Obama are often bitter and mean-spirited and his approval ratings are sinking like a stone. Still, he fights on…
“Fifty years from today, Americans will revere the name, ‘Obama.’ Because like his Canadian predecessors, he chose the tough responsibilities of national leadership over the meaningless nostrums of sterile partisanship that we see too much of in Canada and around the world.”
The vast, crowded hotel ballroom went silent at that part of Mulroney’s speech. One woman was seen snickering.