US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Perth yesterday for talks with Australia’s defence and foreign ministers.
What a boss. What’s on your mind?
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It is a startling yet oft-forgotten fact that had the favourite for the Democratic Party presidential nomination succeeded in 2008, the highest office in the world’s premier democracy would have been shared exclusively between two families for an unbroken 28 years.
That is, had Hillary Clinton beaten Barack Obama in the 2008 primary race (as expected), she would in all likelihood, have replaced the 43rd president George W. Bush, who, after two unhappy terms had succeeded her husband and 42nd president, Bill Clinton.
Forty-two did two successful if tumultuous terms having replaced 41, George H W Bush after one ultimately unpopular term.
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Oh man, my train was delayed for a WHOLE hour this morning. No one told us what was going on. It was so cramped I reckon a woman was starting to suffocate. My boss was so angry with me. If I miss critical deadlines again, I’m fired. He’s after me.
Where did I get this tiny bruise on the side of my face from? Oh, that… Yeah, I got smacked by a vicious thug when I was wandering home late at night at the weekend. I only got away because I’m so fit.
So fit, I ran a marathon in under 3 hours once. Haven’t I told you?
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There’s something about planes, people working on them, getting things done. People getting things done on planes look like the sort of people you want to get things done for you.
Julia Gillard used to look like that back in 2010 when this photo was taken. She could use a bit of that juice right now. Just look what it’s done for Hillary Clinton.
A photo of Clinton, shades on, Blackberry in hand, about to take off for Tripoli, has not just become an internet sensation but injected a whole new energy into the commentary about her political prospects.
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Picture a woman. She might live anywhere in the world. She could be part of any socio-economic group, of any ethnicity, of any religion.
On a typical day this woman starts her day before the sun rises. She works for 8-12 hours in a store or on a farm or at a factory or in someone’s home for a small wage, but her children and elderly relatives depend on her income for survival.
When she comes home, she asks her children what they learned that day at school and what they want to be when they grow up. She spends hours bent over a small stove or fireplace preparing meals for an extended family. In many parts of the world, she also grows the food that feeds everyone at her table.
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So Kevin Rudd’s been musing about the Chinese and how we might need to be ready to “deploy force” if efforts to integrate the PRC into the rest of the world go horribly wrong.
We established long ago the former PM has a tendency to get a bit carried away in discussions with other world leaders. Remember how he allegedly got off the phone from George W Bush and regaled his dinner guests with the cracking yarn that the then-US president didn’t know what the G20 was.
Or how in Copenhagen he went off about how the Chinese were trying to “rat-f**k us”. And who can forget his nickname for the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon - “Spanky Banky”.
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A funny thing happened in Melbourne yesterday morning. A very senior politician answered a whole lot of questions in complete sentences, with barely an acronym, and without the repetition of a handful of sound bites.
This politician - to the surprise of some of the people in the room - even expressed an opinion on some issues. An actual opinion.
This aberration on the political scene didn’t so much as raise an eyebrow among the people who had seen her up close before. For the rest of us, however, it was quite shocking.
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It is 2009 and even Hillary Clinton has to remind people she thinks for herself.
Admittedly it was an African student who yesterday showed such stunning disrespect for the US Secretary of State, by asking her what her husband’s views were on Chinese contracts in the Congo.
I doubt very much anyone in the United States, or here, would dare be so brazen - to her face. But the rest of us put up with it all the time.
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