Malcolm Turnbull

Whatever criticisms and complaints about it, the Prime Minister had a clear strategy in dealing with Donald Trump: keep it out of the public gaze. Even when savaged for refusing to criticise Trump's ban on Muslims entering the United States -- a ban that even senior Republicans said would increase the risk of terrorism -- Turnbull was guided by a plan to avoid unnecessarily offending the new administration in Washington -- led, after all by fellow businessman-turned-politician. The Brits, the Canadians, the French, the Germans, even the Kiwis might all attack the ban, but it wasn't Turnbull's job to engage in public commentary on other countries. He would deal -- and deal was the relevant word -- with Trump privately.

Of course, as Crikey pointed out, Turnbull has been only too happy to comment on other countries, including the United States, before, but Turnbull was sticking to his plan, and wearing grief and accusations of spinelessness for it. All for the goal of ensuring a solid working relationship with Trump -- and, most of all, to secure the vital political deal originally made with the Obama administration to send approximately 1200 refugees from our nightmarish offshore detention camps ("prisons", Trump prefers to call them, in a perhaps unique example of truth-telling) to the United States.