In another sign that we’re entering the era of celebrity politics, it turns out the reason Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was among the first people to ring Donald Trump and congratulate the US president-elect was because he got the number from golf legend Greg Norman.
According to The Daily Telegraph, former treasurer and Australia’s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey contacted Norman asking for Trump’s private mobile number.
The Shark’s contact list helped Turnbull skip the normal channels and beat other world leaders, including British PM Theresa May and German chancellor Angela Merkel to America’s future leader.
Turnbull has described the 15-minute conversation with Trump as “very warm, constructive and practical”.
Norman, who’s retired from pro golf to focus on his career as an entrepreneur, is a regular golfing partner of Trump.
In a recent interview with TCPalm.com, prior to the US election, Norman said:
“I have played golf with Trump many times and I’ve known him more than a decade. He’s passionate about the game of golf. There’s no question he loves the game or he wouldn’t have spent the amount of money he’s spent on golf courses around the world. He’s acquired a few courses that I’ve built.”
He also touched on what he thought Trump would be like a US president.
“As a politician, he has stirred up the base of America,” he said.
“A lot of people wish they could say what he’s saying. I’ve been fortunate enough to know a few presidents. A lot of what you say on the campaign trail to get to be president can’t be enacted once you get into the oval office. You can’t just throw pixie dust in the air and it will solve everything.
“I get so disappointed for America when I travel the world and you hear the comments people make about the debates. ‘Why is all this hatred in America when people aren’t trying to solve the problem?’ It’s a sad indictment. I can feel the angst. It becomes emotional instead of who’s the best to do the job.”
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