The only thing Obama ever said I can wholeheartedly agree with

From The Australian via Andrew Bolt:

It’s one of former ambassador Kim Beazle y’s favourite White House stories: the time Tony Abbott met Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

“I was deeply worried,” Beazley told an audience gathered for a superannuation conference in Sydney yesterday. “It didn’t matter if it was social policy, or environmental policy, whatever it was, Tony Abbott had a totally different view to Barack Obama.”

Beazley diligently prepared briefing notes for the visiting PM, but Abbott wasn’t interested.

“It’s all bullshit. Don’t worry about it. I’m not going to use any of this stuff,” Beazley recalled Abbott saying.

So in they went to the Oval Office to find Obama, vice-president Joe Biden, secretary of defence Chuck Hagel, secretary of state John Kerry and national security adviser Susan Rice.

“I thought, ‘My god we are in for a belting’.”

Obama opened: “Courteous, erudite, pointed,” Beazley recalled, dreamily.

Then the president handed over to Abbott. Perhaps you might like to say something?

“Well, Mr President, I don’t actually have a list of complaints,” Beazley recalled Abbott opening. “I know most people who come to this office have a list of complaints. I’ve got nothing to complain about to you. Others come with a list of things that they want from you. We don’t want anything from you.”

Tony Abbott and Barack Obama
Tony Abbott and Barack Obama

Beazley recalled Abbott continuing: “But I want to say one thing. I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers.”

Our former ambassador still remembers a sharp intake of breath along the line of Americans.

Australia’s 28th prime minister certainly made an impact.

Beazley said for months after that encounter, it was reported back to him that whenever Obama was frustrated by his various opponents, domestic or international, he would say: “We need more Tony Abbotts.”

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44 Responses to The only thing Obama ever said I can wholeheartedly agree with

  1. J.H.

    Sounds like something Tony Abbot would say…. And very typical of Him. He was just making it clear that the Alliance was important despite any differences. Our relations go beyond the personalities of either country’s officeholders…. Even Barack Obama got it.

    Yes indeed, it is a pity there aren’t more Tony Abbotts around place.

  2. Dave in Marybrook

    my god we are in for a belting“?
    Didn’t anyone prepare briefing notes for Beazley on Tony Abbott?
    Courteous, unfailingly.
    Erudite- no. Pithy. Which is better, especially over a cultural divide.
    Pointed- no. That would be misguided.

  3. Siltstone

    What a contrast to the current Potentially Great PM (TM)

  4. MPH

    Beazley recalled, dreamily

    Nauseating.

    Interesting that this story is coming out now, I’m not entirely sure who is pushing what narrative or what is driving the timing.

  5. Jimf

    Abbott,like all of us, not perfect.Stubborn,wooden and laboured on message,wanted to be loved (something that Mal has never been afflicted with). So he dug in, (the young fogey),interviewed at times like a nervous, robotic idiot,and listened to rent seekers who wanted more largesse (old DLP sympathies?).
    BUT – he’s hard working & earnest,and not afraid to live/die on conviction ( at least the best version we have of it these days!).
    I don’t think the current Libs will (or should) tap him for a return to the big job- too much baggage.and not that clever to boot.
    But what a different beast he is vs the current deal-maker,transactor, compromiser of all beliefs.Mighty Mal thinks Government is an end in itself.I can’t think of an Aust figure in public life whose acclaimed mythology/past “Biggles” adventures are just so at odds with his weaknness and complete lack of judgement. It’s like his judgement compass is incapable of self review or humility. Of course Dopey progressives and disengaged neutrals fell in love on 2015 with the centrist “Mr Whatever”. Urbane , cool , smarmy. The emporer has no clothes.The Libs have no succession talent plan.Porter ,Hastie and perhaps Taylor are future leaders ,but they’re probably out of cycle and will do 2 terms in opp thanks to an absolute vacuum of vision from Mal and his cuckolded cabinet .Morrison,Frydenberg and co will be forever tainted by Mal. He’s killed Morrison’s career – oh well. Dutton is not an electable leader and will prob lose his seat after Get Up have finished with him.

  6. Infidel Tiger

    Beazley recalled Abbott continuing: “But I want to say one thing. I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers.”

    One of the stupidest things ever said by an Australian PM. Almost as dishonourable as Howard backing GWB’s insane and criminal actions in Iraq that have produced and Iranian hegemony and killed over 2 millions Christians.

    Grow up Australia.

  7. It’s not America who needs more Tony Abbotts, it’s us.

    Infidel Tiger
    #2572654, posted on December 2, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Beazley recalled Abbott continuing: “But I want to say one thing. I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers.”

    One of the stupidest things ever said by an Australian PM. Almost as dishonourable as Howard backing GWB’s insane and criminal actions in Iraq that have produced and Iranian hegemony and killed over 2 millions Christians.

    Grow up Australia

    .

    It would have been nice if you explained why you think it’s so stupid and dishonourable but hey, easy to just throw a few rocks over the fence, I’ve done it many times myself.
    I’ll let you in on a not so secret secret. The reason why none of our neighbours to the north will never try any shit with us, a little middle power, is because the US would be with us and with us in numbers.
    Why would that be you ask? Well, just re-read Abbott’s comment.

  8. cui bono

    So an American administration can depend on an Abbott administration’s support, no matter what? And it’s boots on the ground?

  9. entropy

    Porter ,Hastie and perhaps Taylor are future leaders ,but they’re probably out of cycle and will do 2 terms in opp thanks to an absolute vacuum of vision from Mal and his cuckolded cabinet .Morrison,Frydenberg and co will be forever tainted by Mal. He’s killed Morrison’s career – oh well. Dutton is not an electable leader and will prob lose his seat after Get Up have finished with him.

    I think Hastie will have trouble to keep his seat thanks to the potentially great PM. The rest you are pretty right though. Dutton will be gone no doubt because of the inevitable getup campaign, but also Mal too. Regardless, he isn’t PM material.

  10. Mark A

    Baa Humbug
    #2572684, posted on December 2, 2017 at 5:10 am

    It’s not America who needs more Tony Abbotts, it’s us.

    Infidel Tiger
    #2572654, posted on December 2, 2017 at 2:21 am
    Grow up Australia

    It would have been nice if you explained why you think it’s so stupid and dishonourable but hey, easy to just throw a few rocks over the fence, I’ve done it many times myself.

    Don’t mind him Baa H, when it comes to Trump or the liberals here, just scroll past his comments.
    You can be certain of his views without reading them.

  11. Tel

    Abbott, always eager to please everyone.

  12. TC

    Abbott had a very diplomatic way of telling Obama his Middle East policies suck and are about to blow up in his face .

  13. Up The Workers!

    Halal Mal IS ‘Get-Up’s’ campaign.

  14. Mater

    If the occasional ‘boot’ on the ground is the cost of US protection, I’ll take it.
    Can you imagine the budget and personnel requirement to provide an effective deterrent to the larger players to the North? We simply don’t have either.
    Even if our military do occcasionally end up serving predominantly American interests, we are ultimately furthering our own.
    Besides, our military interests mostly align, even if we don’t immediately recognise it.

  15. Mark A

    Mater
    #2572704, posted on December 2, 2017 at 6:39 am

    If the occasional ‘boot’ on the ground is the cost of US protection, I’ll take it.
    Can you imagine the budget and personnel requirement to provide an effective deterrent to the larger players to the North? We simply don’t have either.
    Even if our military do occcasionally end up serving predominantly American interests, we are ultimately furthering our own.

    I wish I were independently wealthy, and I wish Australia were the same and could afford the armed forces necessary to defend ourselves without outside help. For myself I have great hopes, for our country none at all.
    I can’t understand why some people don’t face reality.

  16. Vicki

    Hey, Jimf, that’s about the best assessment of Abbott & his successor – and the Coalition’s current prospects – that I have read.

    You are absolutely right about Taylor, Hastie & Porter (I have reserved the order!). They are all outstanding young men who could rescue the fortunes of conservative politics. I hope you are not right about the influence of GetUp re Dutton, as courage + conviction is rare today.

    I know that many Cats are not a fan of Morrison. However, I recall hearing an outstanding speech of Morrison on Australian values when such sentiments were rarely heard. He represents that disappearing Middle Australia and can always be relied upon to stand up to the bullies on the Left.

  17. manalive

    That’s programmatic specificity for you.

  18. Mr Abbott’s remark re ‘baddies versus baddies’ saw him excoriated in the msm. As with most everything else he said or did, quite like President Trump.
    Beazley is fat toad with more chins than a Chinese phone book who presents as a bariatric patient that swallowed a thesaurus. He is a dynastic politician who can’t see his own dick without a mirror and is so used to baffling the plebs with bullshit that he can’t use one word when 40 will do.
    Mr Abbott is an average bloke with an admirable ethical base and above average drive- one of the plebs so he doesn’t sit well with the elites. His community service and commitment to physical maintenance put the majority of politicians to shame. You wouldn’t want to start a trend of having socially useful and direct speaking people running the show.

  19. nilk

    I can’t understand why some people don’t face reality.

    Because reality is terrifying. Easier to hide in cyberspace.

  20. OneWorldGovernment

    Overburdened.

    lol

    Most folk on the Cat think that Peter Costello was a fantastic treasurer.

    What a flaming joke.

    Most folk do not recall that John Howard was treasurer for the other dip shit Malcolm, Fraser.

    Turnbull, like Fraser, is supposed to have made money!

    What a joke.

  21. Theodora

    I think if the inhabitants of Melbourne and Sydney were surveyed, an invasion from the north would not be considered a problem. Most have a loyalty to another country. Australia and the welfare provisions are very convenient. Melbourne and Sydney are brimful of dual-citizens and visa-holders who could not give a toss about our border security or how British settlement developed this country.

    Australia has been sold out. Business interests ahead of civics.

  22. duncanm

    IT’s brushing up on his Indonesian, and possibly Mandarin, as we speak.

  23. Iampeter

    Big gov lefty Abbott has no disagreement with big gov lefty Obama. In other news, water still wet.

    Also he unconditionally guarantees more Australian servicemen put their lives at risk in another aimless middle east mess in the making.

    Can’t believe so many people want this guy back as leader.

  24. classical_hero

    The problem with the Liberals is too many leftists in it. No matter what TA tried it was shut down by them. We need to destroy the SFL and see a true conservative party show up.

  25. Chris M

    I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers

    The correct way to deal with the Middle East if they threaten you – and only then – is to push buttons. Do not risk a single Australian life for that cesspit.

    Was Abbott going to send his own children? Thought not…

    And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers

  26. feelthebern

    So does this mean that when Abbott said it was a witches brew & baddies v baddies and we shouldn’t be involved, he was lying ?
    Maybe John Lyons wasn’t being the usual filthy liar when saying Abbott wanted to get into Syria big time.
    There must be something in the water in the PMO.
    Once you get there, you flip on every thing you said previously.

  27. Viva

    Abbott,like all of us, not perfect.Stubborn,wooden and laboured on message,wanted to be loved (something that Mal has never been afflicted with). So he dug in, (the young fogey),interviewed at times like a nervous, robotic idiot,and listened to rent seekers who wanted more largesse (old DLP sympathies?).
    BUT – he’s hard working & earnest,and not afraid to live/die on conviction ( at least the best version we have of it these days!).
    I don’t think the current Libs will (or should) tap him for a return to the big job- too much baggage.and not that clever to boot.

    Very nicely observed Jim F.

  28. Eyrie

    Very stupid, Tony. Should have told Obama the ME is and always will be a quagmire, stay out and if you go in you are on your own. But, hey, the RAAF is running a nice little immoral live fire exercise there.

  29. Some in their rush to diminish Mr Abbot overlook such things as treaties and alliances and the broader agenda of ensuring the nation’s security. As for him not sending his own, if they were in the military and their number dropped, they would go.

  30. Poor worker an blaming his tools but hey

  31. marcus classis

    Mater:

    Can you imagine the budget and personnel requirement to provide an effective deterrent to the larger players to the North? We simply don’t have either.
    Even if our military do occasionally end up serving predominantly American interests, we are ultimately furthering our own.

    Correct. This has been Australia’s strategic calculus since 1885 when we cemented our strategic partnership with Britain by agreeing to fund the Auxiliary Squadron and participated in ‘Australian’ (colonial) force projection of Australian troops to the Middle East.

    With news of Gordon’s death and the Canadian government’s offer of troops for the Sudan, the NSW government cabled London with its own offer. To make its proposal more attractive, it offered to meet the contingent’s expenses. London accepted but stipulated that the contingent would be under British command. Similar offers from the other Australian colonies were declined. The British government’s acceptance of the contingent was received with enthusiasm by the NSW government and members of the armed forces. It was seen as a historic occasion, marking the first time that soldiers in the pay of a self-governing Australian colony were to fight in an imperial war. … The contingent, an infantry battalion of 522 men and 24 officers, and an artillery battery of 212 men, was ready to sail on 3 March 1885.

    It’s forgotten these days but a fascinating episode

    Mick Tyquin’s book on it is a very interesting read.

    IIRC, the Keating government did a study into ‘going it alone’. The cost was forming a nation-in-arms with universal conscription for 1 year of training 2 years service and 30 years in the active reserve for about 15% of GDP or universal male conscription for 1 year of training 3 years service and 35 years in the active reserve PLUS an independent nuclear deterrent for about 10% of GDP. Both meant demolishing the welfare state. Pretty much every cent of welfare funding was needed to pay for it.

    The conscription was not just for 18 year olds either. It was for everyone under 50. Older types would simple be conscripted into the Army but into civil defence formations. They’d do 1 weekend a month and 1 month a year.

    Such theoretical contingency ‘tour d’horizon’ studies are useful in maintaining good strategic focus.

    (I like the second option, can you imagine the looks on the faces of entitled self-styled elitists; say the soft-handed fat-slobbish middle aged finance industry stock speculator and trader type parasites for example, getting call up papers and having to be a civil-defence firefighter working for say a working class plasterer and under ADF discipline?)

    But seriously, that’s the economic advantage of the US Alliance. Unsurprisingly, Keating assessed that maintaining the US Alliance was a splendid idea.

  32. Pauly

    And how did Obaama repay Abbot?
    By mouthing off about Global Warming and implicitly criticizing Abbots no Carbon Tax policy when he visited Australia.

  33. Infidel Tiger

    No one is saying we should abandon the US alliance. Anyone that thinks the US policy in the Middle East has been anything but an unmitigated disaster is a buffoon.

  34. The self evident fact of the failure of US policy in most places is a separate issue from Australia’s treaties and obligations. Hope that is not too complicated to grasp.

  35. Confused Old Misfit

    Obama – elitist, supercilious, narcissist, socialist twit.
    Pity Keating didn’t try the “going it alone”. Had he done so we would not be dealing with either the islamists or the homosexuals (refuse to call them “gays” – cultural appropriation).

  36. John Constantine

    To get numbers into the army of the near future Australia, the pay will have to be equal to any middling council employee, the medical benefits endless, ditto super.

    Plus a signed guarantee of disaster relief work only, no conflict zone deployment for diversity hires.

    Only obsolete Australians for cannon fodder.

  37. mh

    “But I want to say one thing. I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers.”

    Obama made a series of foreign policy mistakes upon becoming President, which left the Middle East a smoking ruin. Abbott just sounds like a lick-arse.

    We don’t want anything from you.

    Really? Couldn’t Abbott think of anything?

  38. mh

    A former Nigerian Minister made shocking claims that refugees aren’t just being sold into slavery in Libya, but that they are being burned alive like shish kabobs and having their organs harvested. The country has fallen into chaos since Hillary Clinton spearheaded an effort to overthrow Libya’s longtime leader, Gaddafi.

  39. Crossie

    Our relations go beyond the personalities of either country’s officeholders…. Even Barack Obama got it.

    But not Malcolm who rushed out before cameras when Trump won the election to advise the populace not to panic.

  40. nemkat

    mh
    #2573035, posted on December 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    …“ Abbott just sounds like a lick-arse.

    We don’t want anything from you.

    Really? Couldn’t Abbott think of anything?
    He does sound like a lick, but what cards is he holding?
    We don’t spend anywhere near what we should on defence, it’s politically impossible.
    Vast areas that could support agriculture are merely grazed, and the country has huge mineral and petroleum resources that can’t be accessed, for political reasons.
    Australia will most likely end in disaster for the majority of inhabitants, but what can any leader do, other than kick the can down the road?

  41. Crossie

    He’s killed Morrison’s career – oh well.

    No, Malcolm did not. Morrison killed Morrison’s career. His vaudeville act of pretending he voted for Abbott was not believable.

  42. PB

    Send our young to the Middle East to join the Americans in fighting Israel’s wars? Priceless. Thank you Tony.

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