Small World After All: Obama-Clinton Battle Stirs Global Debate

"The interest in Obama and Clinton is absolutely intense to the point where we have a minority government that is in danger of falling which would precipitate an election and Obama and Clinton are trumping that story some days on the front page," said John Ibbitson, the Globe and Mail's Washington columnist. "There is just an amazing level of interest, such as I've never ever seen before as a journalist in an election campaign."

Ibbitson tells the story of a recent trip to Toronto where he was having breakfast at the Four Seasons hotel.

"At every single table around me, they were talking about nothing but the presidential election campaign," he said.

"We've had famously friendly presidents and prime ministers such as Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney who inked the free trade agreement back in 1988," Ibbitson said. "George Bush and Jean Chretien clearly disliked each other strongly, especially when Canada decided not to go into the Iraq War, and the relationships between the two countries went into a deep freeze so it matters a lot to Canadians who the president is under any circumstances but this election campaign is unprecedented."

Diplomatic relations with Canada became a focal point of the U.S. election for a couple days when a leaked Canadian memo suggested Obama's campaign had signaled his rhetoric against the North American Free Trade Agreement was political posturing.

"It's been said in Canada the greatest contribution we could make to Western civilization would be to allow the United States to annex us guaranteeing Democratic administrations in perpetuity," Ibbitson said jokingly.

Greenspon pointed out that singer/songwriter Neil Young, a Canadian by birth, recently justified his interest in the U.S. election by saying they describe the president as the leader of the "free world" after all.

With files from ABC News' foreign correspondents around the world: Margaret Conley, Sonia Gallego, Karen Russo, Lara Setrakian and Nicholas Schifrin. ABC News' Peyton Craighill also contributed reporting.

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