Following Justin Trudeau: Political rock star

Lyanne Melendez Image
Friday, February 9, 2018
Canadian PM pitches Canada tech jobs to San Francisco market
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brings what some call his "maple charm offensive" to San Francisco on Thursday with a dual agenda: Pitch Canada as a destination for American tech firms

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- My marching orders today were to cover Justin Trudeau, as in the Canadian Prime Minister. He's in town to convince tech leaders to invest more in Canada. Well, I have to say I've covered a few Presidents and World Leaders during my long career, and so I thought it was just going to be another "walking and waving" politician.

RELATED: Canadian PM arrives in Bay Area to meet with business leaders

I arrived at the Saleforce Headquarters on Mission Street in San Francisco and my photographer and I waited outside to catch the Prime Minister as he exited the building. Trudeau was already inside meeting with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

It was a long wait, but we were glad it was an unseasonably mild February day in San Francisco.

Our cameras sparked the attention of people walking to grab a bit to eat. They were all very curious to know who we were waiting for. When we told them that the Prime Minister of Canada was meeting with Benioff, people suddenly became very interested in knowing why he was here. There were also comments such as "Trudeau?, Wish we had him as our President," or "Trudeau, he's so smart and attractive." One man even said to me, "I'm considered moving to Canada because of him."

VIDEO: Justin Trudeau talks tech with top execs in San Francisco

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rubbed shoulders with some of San Franisco's tech elite during his visit Thursday.

By then, several dozen people had gathered around us and were now waiting, with cell phone in hand, to take a picture of Trudeau. Some missed getting their lunches because they wanted to get a glimpse of who may well be the most popular leader in the world.

He didn't let them down. I have to confess, Trudeau lives up to his image as a suave, caring and likeable man. Upon leaving the Saleforce building, he made it a point to wave and smile at the crowd. Everyone felt like he was looking at them. Such is the life of a rock star.

Trudeau even got on the running board of his SUV to wave at the crowd.

After he left, Benioff, himself quite popular among his employees, stopped to talk to me about his meeting with the Prime Minister. "I mean here we are in the city that birth the Summer of Love and gay rights and he resonated with creating a world that has more diversity and equality, so people in San Francisco love him," expressed Benioff.

Benioff also announced he will invest an additioanl two-billion dollars in Canada over the next five years.

In this era of people not being too enamored with politicians, the Canadian Prime Minister seems to be the exception. If that works in his favor during his meetings with CEOs like Benioff and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, then I'd say he'll do well today.