Justin Trudeau Makes the Cover of the Rolling Stone

Look who made the cover of Rolling Stone this week.

I did a quick scan of all the covers of Rolling Stone dating back to the 1960s and as far as I can tell, JT is only the second foreign head of state to appear on the front. The other? Pope Francis–unless you count Darth Vader. (BTW, a lot of US presidents have made it: Obama (5), Nixon (1), George W. Bush (1) and JFK (1).)

The article goes like this.

Let’s begin by synchronizing our watches. We are in the Eastern time zone.

The legislative session is over, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is about to give his wrap-up press conference. The reporters trudge into the gallery, grumbling, as reporters like to do, about traffic and editors. Someone gives the “10 seconds” signal, and Trudeau strides to the podium. He gives a nod and starts ticking off his accomplishments. The first is self-praise for cutting taxes on the middle class and raising them on the one percent. “We’ve given nine out of 10 families more money each month to help with the costs of raising their kids,” Trudeau says.

It’s strange to witness: He speaks in a modulated, indoor voice. His dark hair is a color found in nature. At home, there is a glamorous wife and three photogenic children, still not old enough to warm his seat at next week’s G-20 summit or be involved in an espionage scandal.

When Trudeau moves on to his feminist bona fides (women and minorities make up more than half of his Cabinet), he pauses for a moment, but does not lose his train of thought. His words are coherent and will not need to be run through Google Translate when he is done (except if you want to translate his French into English).

He talks about steps taken to deal with the opioid crisis and mentions the country’s dropping unemployment rate. He uses the original Clintonian recipe on the crowd: “We’re focused on getting people into good careers and helping families get ahead and stay ahead,” he says. “But we know there’s more hard work in front of us than there is behind us.”

Then he gives the press corps a high-five.

Keep reading. Once you’re done, see if you agree with this critique.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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