‘That fella down under’: Biden appears to forget Australian PM’s name


Team Udayavani, Sep 16, 2021, 1:00 PM IST

US President Joe Biden appeared to forget Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s name at a press conference for a new security partnership on Wednesday, September 15. Instead of being called by his role in the US-Britain-Australia agreement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was initially relegated to being “that fellow Down Under”.

During the conference, Biden turned to the British Prime Minister to express his gratitude, saying, “Thank you, Boris.”

To which Biden said, “I want to thank…uh…that fella down under. Thank you very much pal. Appreciate it Mr Prime Minister,” Biden said.

Biden seemed to recover as he then turned to his formal remarks and correctly identified the Australian leader, who had earlier responded to the apparent gaffe with a smile and a thumbs up. But it was too late for some.

“‘Thanks pal’: Biden appears to forget Morrison’s name,” ran a headline in the Cairns Post.

The defence deal “may not have got off to the shining start for which Morrison hoped, of course, when US President Joe Biden appeared to forget his name at the crucial moment”, said an analysis by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The apparent gaffe opened a window into the “little-brother nature of Australia’s position among the powers”, the paper said.

But an analysis by James Morrow at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said the awkward moment could not overshadow the importance of the deal, struck at a time of rising Chinese military influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Not even Joe Biden forgetting the name of ‘that fellow Down Under’ could mar the importance of what has just played out over the last 12 hours,” he wrote.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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