It's tough to meet new people

The reporting on President Tarja Halonen's trip to the United States took a turn from ridiculous to sublime when it was revealed that she had inquired about the possibility of meeting two leading Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both of whom were too busy doing other things. Since Pelosi and Clinton presumably aren't offended by Halonen's outspoken opposition to the Iraq war, there's now a tiny chance that Finnish media figures who criticized her for not securing a meeting with President George W Bush will admit that the reason these get-togethers ain't happening is that Finland is really frigging insignificant.

On the bright side, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger invited Halonen over for a visit, but apparently a trip to the West Coast would have taken too much time. (Arnie's reaction: "NOOOOOOOH!") Also, one person who did meet our fearless leader was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Apparently Finland wants a seat in the UN Security Council starting in 2013. Then they'll have to talk to us!

Update: Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva said on Lauantaiseura, a topical talk show on YLE, that Halonen and Clinton had agreed on a meeting, but the time clashed with the Ban Ki-moon meeting so it had to be canceled. Considering that "[s]cheduling problems are routinely invoked in international diplomacy to turn down a proposed meeting," this clearly shows that Clinton's relationship with Finland is problematic.

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