Hardball for the cameras?
"This is a relationship that is deep and broad and good," said (U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice.
"It is important not to speak in apocalyptic language about this issue. It is a trade dispute. Frankly, I think we'll get through it."
Martin has been talking tough lately on the issue of softwood lumber, saying Canada has already won and that the $5 billion is not negotiable.
With an election just around the corner, I'm just not convinced that Martin actually means any of this. I wonder how the conversation went with Rice over dinner, behind closed doors. I wouldn't be too surprised if it went along the lines of, "Condi, I'm sorry, please bear with me. I've just go to win this election."
I've just been part of a few scrums with Martin, all of which took place after closed door affairs. All I can say is that I know that the statements made by the Prime Minister haven't always been a true characterization of what actually took place behind the closed doors.
Who knows what really happened over dinner. Maybe he was so angry that he barely looked up. Or perhaps they discussed how to win elections. Maybe I'm absolutely wrong and they did nothing but talk serious business.
I just wouldn't be surprised if we're being taken for a ride here.