politics

President Obama got along with all Australia's prime ministers. Except one.

It’s hard enough for Australians to keep up with what’s going on in Canberra, so spare a thought for international leaders who may have to deal with a different Aussie prime minister on any given day.

Because leadership spills have become somewhat of a national past time, President Obama dealt with four different Australian prime ministers during his eight years as President of the United States.

He famously got along well with Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull but a former top White House adviser has revealed Obama didn’t warm to Tony Abbott. Ouch.

Ben Rhodes spent eight years as Obama’s deputy national security adviser and foreign policy speech writer. Few advisers were closer to the president.

In an interview with The Australian to promote his book The World As It Is, Rhodes said the relationship between Abbott and Obama was “very difficult” given their different world views.

However he got on well with Rudd and considered his expertise on China helpful. Obama’s strongest relationship was with Gillard, and Rhodes said they are still in touch.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 16: US President Barack Obama smiles as he listens to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a Joint Media Conference on the first day of his 2-day visit to Australia, on November 16, 2011 in Canberra, Australia. The President will today receive a Cermeonial Welcome, attend a bi-lateral meeting and hold a joint media conference with Julia Gillard, and attend a Parliamentary Dinner this evening, before addressing Parliament and heading to Darwin tomorrow. (Photo by Rick Rycroft - Pool/Getty Images)
Best buds. Image: Getty.

He said that following difficulties during Abbott's prime ministership, Obama found Turnbull easier to deal with and considered him in "the mainstream of Centre-Right" leaders like Angela Merkel and David Cameron.

Rhodes didn't specify what "difficulties" Obama had with Abbott, but given their majorly different stances on topics like climate change, it's not hard to imagine why they may not have got along.

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