Mumbrella360: ‘Utterly arrogant and negative’ – Julie Bishop spills on working alongside Trump, Obama and Biden

Trump is ‘arrogant but authentic’; Obama is ‘exceptionally intellectual’; Biden is ‘like an uncle’, and Boris Johnson can ‘turn anything into a joke,’ according to Australia’s former foreign minister.

Julie Bishop, who has worked alongside some of the world’s most prominent political figures during her career, wasn’t afraid to spill all on the main stage at Mumbrella360 on Thursday.

Emphasising the link between authenticity and strong leaders, Bishop said: “Those who portrayed themselves as they really were the most successful leaders.”

“It didn’t mean they were likable or charming, it didn’t mean you would want to go and have a drink with them, but they were their authentic selves and people either embraced it or didn’t,” Bishop said.

Session moderator Allison Langdon and Julie Bishop

Session moderator Allison Langdon and Julie Bishop

On former US president Donald Trump, Bishop said he’d be the first to admit that he’s a narcissist and a bully.

“He was utterly arrogant and negative about his opponents – lots of personal denigration,” she said.

“But, that’s who he was. Ultimately, it was his authenticity that gained him popularity among the American public.

“Some of the things that he dared say in public, people only wished they could.”

Joe Biden, on the other hand, was charming and friendly, Bishop recalled.

“He’s kind of like your Uncle Joe at Christmas lunch, telling stories and the like,” she remarked. 

To many, 81 is too old to run a country. However, Bishop said his age is part of his branding, signifying experience and stability.

“His political brand is: I’m experienced, I’ve been there, I’ve seen it all, nothing surprises me, and America will be safe with me.”

A “gifted communicator” and an “utter delightful to be around” was how Barrack Obama was described.

“He sought everyone’s opinion; he listened and learned and made you feel like your opinion mattered. And in that regard, you would have thought he would be the perfect president,” she said.

“But his critics said he was a ditherer, that because he took into account everybody’s view, he didn’t ever make timely decisions.”

No discussion on global leaders and personal branding would be complete without touching upon former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson – one of the funniest people Bishop knows.  

“He can turn any situation, even the most serious and dreadful situation. Now, that can be a gift. It can also get him into a lot of trouble,” she said. 

“Here we are in a press conference talking about something terribly serious, and he made a ridiculous comment that had me in tears.”

She also hinted that despite biding farewell to politics last year, we may not have seen the end of the controversial Conservative Party leader.  

“I would watch this space because I don’t think Boris has had enough of the limelight – be sure of that.”

To watch this session recording and more from Mumbrella360, head to Mumbrella Pro.


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