Obama going to Canada on Feb. 19

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President Obama will take his first foreign trip on Feb. 19 as he travels to Canada, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

The president was expected to go as early as this week, but he has now pushed back his first trip until after the economic stimulus package is expected to pass.

On a side note, I’m typing this from the White House briefing as it’s ongoing, and in the front row, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is sitting in Helen Thomas’ seat, front and center.

Salazar came and spoke to reporters at the beginning of the briefing about reform efforts in his agency. After taking a few questions, he joked with Gibbs about sitting in the front row (Thomas is not here today) and then actually went and did it.

Gibbs, his press office staffers, and reporters all laughed and joked for several seconds, but everyone expected Salazar to get up and leave the briefing room. After the joking and laughter died down, and Gibbs had no choice but to begin his briefing, Salazar was still sitting there.

And there he remains, 20 minutes into the briefing. He seems to be listening intently.

- Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times

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