Julia Gillard leaves tomorrow for her first American Journey as prime minister.

As well as meeting the US president, the Treasury Secretary, Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence, chairman of the Federal Reserve, head of the World Bank and UN Secretary-General — and addressing Congress — she has another political engagement.

She will lunch with the most powerful man in her world. She will discuss the state of their alliance. She will aim to impress him with her grasp of geo-politics and convince him of her genuine political convictions. She is likely to lay out her roadmap for the future success of Australia.

Why is it that the spectre of Australian prime ministers traipsing to the US to cosy up to Rupert Murdoch feels so … tacky?