The bloke has as much class an an ingrown toenail covered in tinea.
JOHN Howard has defended his role in kicking US president-elect Barack Obama out of a bed at Washington's Blair House in the lead-up to the inauguration, dismissing reports he will be staying there with an entourage.
The former prime minister revealed he was picking up his own tab to travel to the US to receive a prestigious award from US President George W. Bush, after running up taxpayer-funded bills of more than $257,864 for travel and other expenses since he was turfed from office.
It has now emerged that Mr Howard has unwittingly bumped Mr Obama, whose presidency the former prime minister once suggested would be a gift for terrorists, and his young family from a bed in a luxurious Washington mansion.
The 119-room Blair House is the official state guesthouse of the US president and where incoming presidents often stay before their inauguration.
Mr Howard will be enjoying the hospitality of Mr Bush as he prepares to receive the US Medal of Freedom on January 19, the day before Mr Obama's inauguration.
The booking clash at Blair House sparked reports in the Washington Post this week, while The New York Times speculated that "Australians may find some irony in the news that their former prime minister bumped Mr Obama from the coveted Blair House locale".
Mr Howard's office yesterday defended the trip.
"Mr Howard will be staying for one night as per the invitation," a spokesman said.
"There's no entourage, it's just Mr and Mrs Howard. None of it is at the expense of Australian taxpayers."
In 2007, Mr Howard attacked Mr Obama's plan for troop withdrawals in Iraq.
"If I were running al-Qa'ida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats," Mr Howard said at the time.
In response, Mr Obama said: "It's flattering that one of George Bush's allies on the other side of the world started attacking me the day after I announced (my candidacy)."
"I would also note that we have close to 140,000 troops in Iraq, and my understanding is Mr Howard has deployed 1400, so if he is ... to fight the good fight in Iraq, I would suggest that he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them to Iraq. Otherwise it's just a bunch of empty rhetoric."
(me here, this was great fun at the time. Although we all thought Obama was a bit ungrateful, we liked the fact that he stood up for himself with a bit of wit).
US media outlets have reported that the Obamas will take up residence at Blair House next Thursday, but had asked to move in on January 4 so their daughters could settle into school. Mr and Mrs Howard will stay for one night on January 12.
"We explored the idea so that the girls could start school on schedule," a White House spokesman told The New York Times.
"But there were previously scheduled events and guests that couldn't be displaced."
As a result, the Obamas have been moved into Washington's Hay-Adams Hotel.
He liked Bush because he was even dumber than he was. :-D