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.
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.
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.