Decoding Peter Mackay: What? Li'l ol' me? For NATO Chief?
|THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
|Defence Minister Peter MacKay is seen with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates outside the Pentagon March 4, 2009.|
Defence Minister Peter MacKay fluttered like a debutante Monday when asked whether U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden's pushing him for the post of NATO secretary-general. "That's breaking news to me," MacKay told a press conference in Ottawa. "I've never had discussions with Vice-President Biden about this."
Translation: "I've never been asked that particular question exactly as worded before. Besides, I've got people in high places to do that for me."
European members of the 26-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization, based in Brussels, reportedly favour continuing the tradition of appointing a European when a new chief is chosen mid-2009.
MacKay added: "I don't believe that a person's nationality, given the number of NATO countries there are, should ever be a bar to ascendancy of any role in NATO. I don't think traditions, in the sense of geography, should be a restriction on any position with NATO."
Translation: "Okay, I'm Canadian but what's the problem with that? When did the Europeans last pull their weight? Eh? Ehhhhh?"
MacKay told reporters there's a "growing appreciation" for Canada's role within NATO in Afghanistan, and beyond.
Translation: "You owe me."
An aide to the defence minister told reporters MacKay is not seeking the job.
Translation: "Hahaha. Get him (and me with him) outta there before the next election, puh-lese. The electorate is turning ugly. . . Sure, it's Brussels, but Paris is only a fast train away."