Abbott 1, Obama nil

Hold the front page: this morning, an Australian politician told Barack Obama exactly what he thought of him, and it wasn’t flattering (although it was quite funny at times). 

What? you ask – did Bob Brown savage the man who he most admires on earth? Did Wayne Swan lose his rag as effectively as he did last election night when he thought he was going to lose his seat? (still a favourite YouTube moment, that one) 

Nope. It was the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. 

Tony Abbott’s speech in Parliament today to welcome Barack Obama before his own speech to both Houses was a masterpiece – but one which will sadly go over the heads of most Australian people. It was a Prime Ministerial speech, mercifully devoid of the nonsensical sentiment with which Gillard’s was choked. (You’d have thought Julia had been there like Grace Sullivan, making scones while the Japanese bombed Darwin, before she decided instead to direct Obama to the John Curtin Library in Perth – which I notice is not on his itinerary.) 

Abbott’s speech, on the other hand, was brilliant. He showed that he has a far better grasp on what America is, and what her role is in maintaining world peace and stability, than Gillard. He also showed that he has a greater love for America and her abundant ideological gifts to the world than Obama does; the influence of Mark Steyn was unmistakable. (Steyn should be charging Abbott royalties). 

Abbott’s speech was a noble one; one which showed abundant respect for the values upon which America was founded – and by contrast, very little for the man sitting there who is supposed to be defending them. 

Obama kept a poker face throughout, but when he rose to reply, his tone in thanking ‘Leader Abbott’ was unmistakable. 

I did something unprecedented: I actually rang his office and asked where I could get the transcript. And you should, too.

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