Wednesday, September 08, 2004

a strange love affair

Such is the life of a single mum that it takes me til Wednesday to get to read the Saturday papers. Still, this story, called "Dubya delivers, putting PM first among equals", by Greg Sheridan in the Weekend Australian is worth returning to.
Essentially he's saying George Bush did John Howard a favour in praising him at the American presidential convention, but that he didn't really do it out of appreciation of Howard's foreign policy, but rather because it works for him (Bush):

"Bush and his speechwriters have decided that Australia's reputation is so high it helps Bush politically to be associated with it.
Australia enjoys a standing in the US among Republicans and Democrats it has never enjoyed before.
This is an enormous national asset.
But right now it has also delivered a real political dividend for Howard.

OK, so since it's bipartisan, it's got nothing to do with Howard's support for Dubya and Iraq, right? It must be something else. So what is it that America allegedly loves about Australia, then? Sheridan isn't any help. Whaddya reckon, is it our tourism? Is it our celebrities? Do we have Kylie, Elle, Cate and Nicole to blame for this? And why does Howard personally benefit from it?
I can't figure it out. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought most Americans couldn't find us on a map.

related: backpages on Murdoch's Daily Terrograph.