In January, Joe Hockey will go from politician (or more accurately ex-politician) to public servant when he becomes ambassador to Washington DC. How cut out for life as a diplomat Hockey is is a little unclear. There was, after all, his peculiar admission that he only took the DC gig because if he'd stayed in politics he would have been obsessed with revenge on those who brought him down (imagine Joe as a Mad Hocks, roaming the political wasteland in the last of the novated lease V8 Interceptors -- fully imported, of course).

If the Americans aren't too worried they're being used as therapy by a failed Aussie politician, a check of his State Department file might throw up some more interesting quotes. For example, his hosts might not have forgotten Hockey’s attack on Barack Obama in 2009 when he said: "I can't claim to be an expert on the US economy, but what I do know is that the American people are starting to question Barack Obama's management of the US economy."