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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 19:22 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 19:22 | SYDNEY

Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake

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17 November 2008 09:44

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner was right to complain about the ridiculous body language interpretation the media has lately been indulging in over one 'frosty' greeting. Yes, maybe Bush was snubbing Prime Minister Rudd over the leaked phone call affair. But maybe he'd just felt a touch of indigestion, or an aid had whispered in his ear that his favourite football team had lost. Who knows?

It is beneath the dignity of a proud nation to place so much stock in these tiny, insignificant gestures from a foreign leader. Isn't that right, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith? Oh, wait:

Now it's unambiguously the case that it's in Australia's national interest to continue with our alliance with the United States and Prime Minister Rudd and President Elect Obama have spoken by telephone; one of the first 10 or dozen foreign leaders to have a phone conversation with him.

Later in the same interview:

And those people who are suggesting that somehow such a report could have some lasting implications, I think a) have been proven wrong with the very speedy way in which Prime Minister Rudd has spoken to president elect Obama. And so for as one of 10 or 12 leaders to do so to date...

 And in parliament on 11 November:

Last time I looked, President-elect Obama had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister as one of his first 10 conversations with world leaders.

In breaking news, President Bush did sign Kevin Rudd's menu after the G20 dinner, but his inscription apparently just read 'All the best', whereas President Sarkozy's said 'Thanks for coming, Sarki! Maybe we can whittle this forum down a bit in future and get some real work done!' The Prime Minister's office could not be reached for comment.

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