Obama likely to find ally in new Australian PM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States expects smooth relations with Australia's Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, but it remains to be seen if he can match his predecessor's pally rapport with President Barack Obama.
Mr Abbott, a conservative who was born in London and has spoken of the importance of the "Anglosphere", led his coalition to victory over the Labor Party of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat and China expert.
Mr Rudd, who faced criticism at home over his style and his party's internecine fighting, was arguably one of the foreign leaders closest to the usually reserved Mr Obama.
Mr Kurt Campbell, who was the State Department's top official on East Asia during Mr Obama's first term, said that Mr Rudd left "almost ocean-vessel-size shoes to be filled" in helping the United States think strategically.