Even in Chicago, they are puzzling over Labor’s long march to oblivion. In 1987, prior to becoming chief of staff to a president, Rahm Emanuel spent a fortnight with a couple of Australian nurses as he travelled up the east coast to Cairns.
The charismatic 52-year-old Chicago Mayor joked with me this week - his city was hosting the NATO summit - that it had given him a “great respect for the Australian healthcare system”.
“I told your previous prime minister this,’’ he said clearly amused as he relived a conversation with Kevin Rudd.
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NATO began peace keeping in Bosnia today in 1995.
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Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are both on their first overseas jaunts since the election and neither of them seems to be enjoying themselves very much.
Even though no one believed him for a second, Tony “Iron Man” Abbott’s jetlag excuse for not visiting Afghanistan has turned into a real snafu, and Gillard has admitted she’d rather just stay home altogether.
Let’s deal with Abbott first.
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The appointment of Brendan Nelson as Australia’s ambassador to NATO and the EU is good news for him and good news for Kevin Rudd, but it is an embarrassment for Malcolm Turnbull.
While Nelson maintains that there was no offer made prior decision to leave Parliament – the deal was apparently struck over a cup of tea after Nelson decided to leave Parliament with the Prime Minister and only finalised last week – it does cast his decision to leave Parliament early in an entirely new light.
In choosing to leave Parliament early Brendan Nelson has caused a headache for Malcolm Turnbull in having to hold a by-election for his seat of Bradfield, has dropped several mischievous bombs on coalition policy on ETS and is now going to work for the Government that only one year ago he was the leading the charge against.
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