Archive for November 16th, 2011


next stop: darwin

Live coverage:

Australian Sky News

NT News

White House Live (at 2:0 AM ET)






Herald Sun: At one of her first face-to-face meetings with Barack Obama soon after becoming PM, Julia Gillard said to the leader of the free world: “Are you nuts?”.

It could have been a monumental diplomatic blunder from the woman who admitted foreign policy was not her passion. But Obama didn’t see it as an insult. He considered her disregard for foreign affairs double-speak refreshing.

The two leaders have discovered they share a similar sense of humour and political outlook, and a surprisingly strong personal relationship has blossomed between the Australian Prime Minister and the President of the United States.

They are like-minded left-of-centre politicians both facing difficult domestic challenges, with Obama battling a hostile Congress and Gillard juggling minority government. And both are trail-blazers – the first black President and first female PM.

… Gillard sent Obama a 50th birthday card in August, purchased from the Parliament House florist, with pictures of a kangaroo, the Parliament building, native flowers and the Captain Cook water-jet on Lake Burley Griffin. Inside she wrote a personal note, including the line, “Your life has been remarkable to date but I’m sure the best is yet to come”.

… Gillard told me about their chat in an interview: “I had a discussion in the margins of one of the summits with President Obama who said, ‘You know your Question Time is a good way of speaking to the nation and getting your message out’, to which I said, “Are you nuts? We have this for an hour and half, four days a week’.

“He did laugh. He was not insulted by the ‘are you nuts?’. He thought I was pretty funny,” Gillard recalled.

Full article here


President Obama at a tree dedication ceremony at the U.S. embassy compound in Canberra – photos from Flickr – thank you Hopefruit



** All Australia posts here **


it’s oz time

President Obama is pictured with Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Australian Major-General Peter Cosgrove after Obama laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

…. with John Hogg, President of the Australian Senate

….. addressing the Australian Parliament in Canberra

…. visiting Campbell High School in Canberra

… with U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich before a tree dedication ceremony at the U.S. embassy compound in Canberra

President Obama waves from the steps of Air Force One upon his departure from Canberra


:cool: NT News

** All Australia posts here **


I hate to ruin this post with a photo of Rusty, but bjw2 (thank you!) saw this at the brilliant Democrats for Progress – Rusty Bawls Through Congressional Award Ceremony:

Oh. Good. Grief.


chelsea’s day

Original video here

The Herald: IT was that unforgettable moment when a prime minister meets the US President in Parliament House, Canberra.

But it was not the nation’s leader, Julia Gillard, who embraced Barack Obama. She had to settle for a kiss and back pat.

Instead it was Chelsea Gallagher, the 12-year-old ‘prime minister’ of Dungog Public School, who wrapped her arms around the world’s most powerful man yesterday.

“I said ‘hello’ and then I asked him if I could have a hug and he gave me one,” said Chelsea, whose school voted her ‘prime minister’ (rather than captain) this year.

…. “He was really cool, and had the biggest smile on his face when he walked into the foyer and saw us all,” she told the Newcastle Herald.

Mr Obama spotted the children and said “Whoa. Hello everyone,” then exclaimed “G’day”….

More here


President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard toast during the Parliamentary Dinner at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Nov. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Steve Benen: President Obama spoke to American business leaders at the APEC summit, and said policymakers haven’t been aggressive enough in attracting businesses to American soil….

…. Mitt Romney, either because he’s not terribly bright or because he’s hoping voters aren’t terribly bright, launched a new attack based on Obama’s comments. As he sees it, the president “said that Americans are lazy.” That’s not true, but Romney isn’t exactly fact-oriented….

As it turns out, there is a presidential candidate who’s argued that Americans “avoid the hard work” that’s needed for the country to get ahead. The candidate is Mitt Romney, who put the argument in his book:

“We have been accustomed to being the world’s leading nation for so long, enjoying the freedom, security, and prosperity that comes with that leadership, that we have tended to avoid the hard work that overcoming challenges requires.”

…. The former governor said yesterday the president doesn’t “understand” Americans. It seems like Romney has this backwards.

Full post here


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