Stephen Harper could go to the White House for his first foreign head of government visit as prime minister. It's a pretty safe bet for most prime ministers.
But not for him.
If he does, the media will take the position that he's gone to Washington to get his marching orders from George Bush. Or to sign a secret deal to sell the country at fire sale prices. Or to take hunting safety lessons from Dick Cheney.
So why doesn't he go to Afghanistan to show support for our peacekeepers?
That's just what he might be doing.
The media is already to complain that he's wasting taxpayer dollars on a macho photo-op and putting himself needlessly in harm's way in a war zone. Or that he's going to get up in camo and announce a big ramp-up in military spending to send troops to Iraq or Iran or God knows where.
So why doesn't he go to Washington first to talk about softwood lumber?