All politics is national

John Howard, a staunch ally of the U.S., has been soundly defeated in the election for prime minister of Australia. Howard, the second longest serving PM in Australia’s history, was expected to lose, but not by as large a margin as he did.
Kevin Rudd will be the new prime minister. As Michelle Malkin observes, the differences between Howard and Rudd are not likely to be great, especially when it comes to foreign policy and relations with the U.S. However, Rudd almost surely will not be the heavyweight in the global war on terror that Howard was.
Michelle is correct that the American left will read this election as a referendum on President Bush and the war in Iraq. However, such a reading is silly, and would be even if Rudd were anti-American. The lesson of this election, as with the election of pro-American leaders in France and Germany and with the replacement of Tony Blair in England, is that in politics nothing lasts forever.
UPDATE: Gordon Chang at Contentions offers a less sanguine of Rudd.
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