NEW YORK -- Nicola Sturgeon engaged in some able badinage with Jon Stewart on Monday, Scotland’s first minister appearing on "The Daily Show" as part of a four-day tour of the US.
Sturgeon chided the outgoing host for her billing on the Comedy Central website as a “comedian” not a politician. Still, the SNP leader showed some comedic wherewithal on the issue of Scotland’s oil reserves.
“You have oil?” Stewart asked with incredulity. “May we invade you?”
“This is progress,” replied Sturgeon, “Jon has just asked, presumably on behalf of the United States, permission to invade an oil-producing country. It usually doesn’t happen that way.”
On matters of fiscal independence, she said: "Of course we can become financially independent. If we cast our minds back to when America was trying to become independent of the UK there was all sorts of scare stories about how it would never work. On balance I think you've become a successful independent country."
Officially, Surgeon is in the US to promote investment in Scotland, however the trip will also build an international profile for the fledgling SNP chief, particularly her appearance opposite Stewart, who has interviewed myriad major political figures, from Barack Obama to Tony Blair.
On Monday, Sturgeon visited New York Presbyterian Hospital before heading to "The Daily Show." On Tuesday she will travel to Washington for engagements at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Holocaust Museum and the Council on Foreign Relations.