International affairs expert and federal Labor MP Michael Danby has led an Australian diplomatic offensive attempting to entice newly elected US President Barack Obama to visit his loyal ally Down Under.
Danby – who is the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade – told Laurie Oakes on Nine News this week that he understood the President to be visiting Indonesia this year and that it was an exciting opportunity for Australia to encourage him to visit us.
Michelle Grattan has picked up the story today in the Fairfax press.
Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson visited Australia Â in the 1960s, with adoring crowds chanting “All the way with LBJ” massively outnumbering sandal-wearers and basket-weavers who didn’t want freedom defended in Vietnam.
Obama’s welcome from enthusiasts here would border on frenzied if the number of Obama posters in Labor ministerial and electorate offices is any guide. While “All the way with B.O.” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, there would be no doubt that if President Obama responds to Michael Danby’s brilliant diplomatic offensive and daring invitation that the Big O’s visit to Australia – and possibly Danby’s seaside electorate where Obama supporters outnumber McCain patriots 999 to 1 – would be a spectacular success.