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Hillary Clinton on Australia

AAP logoAAP 5/11/2016 Belinda Tasker

HILLARY CLINTON NO FAIR-WEATHER FRIEND OF AUSTRALIA

Hillary Clinton has made three public visits to Australia in the past 20 years, during which time she forged a close bond with Julia Gillard, spoke warmly of the warm relationship enjoyed by the two nations, and declared a surprise dislike for Vegemite.

* On the US-Australia relationship

During a brief visit in 2012 as Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton reinforced the "indispensability" of the US-Australian partnership. "We are not fair-weather friends," she said.

That strong relationship would help both countries "foster strong, healthy relations with China", she said before making clear Australia did not need to choose between the US and China. "That kind of zero-sum thinking only leads to negative-sum results," she said.

* Word of warning

But two years later Mrs Clinton accused Australia of depending too much on China as a trading partner. "It's a mistake whether you're a country, or a company or an individual to put, as we say in the vernacular, all your eggs in the one basket," she told Fairfax while promoting her book Hard Choices.

* R.E.S.P.E.C.T

In her book, Mrs Clinton lashed out at the "outrageous sexism" endured by Julia Gillard as prime minister. The pair met several times while Ms Gillard was in office. Mrs Clinton praised Ms Gillard for her famous misogyny speech, noting how many women subjected to sexism would "just swallow it". "But she just went right at it and I respected that," she told the ABC.

* Gun control

On the campaign trail in October 2015, Mrs Clinton was asked whether she thought a strict Australian-style gun policy could be implemented in the US. "I think that's worth considering. I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly your example is worth looking at," she said.

* Not a happy Vegemite

"I've never understood why you would ruin a perfectly good piece of bread with Vegemite," she joked at a forum with under 35s in Melbourne during a brief visit as secretary of state in 2010.

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