‘If I’m such a legend, give me a lift to the pub!’ How Bob Hawke stunned US congressmen by hitching a ride with a car of young blokes

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Australia’s former Prime Minister Bob Hawke once stunned senior US congressmen by hitching a ride with a car of young men. 

Barrie Cassidy, was Mr Hawke’s press secretary from 1986 to 1991, shared the remarkable story on ABC News Breakfast on Friday morning. 

He said the former Labor leader was at the MCG with a group of American congressmen when they headed out to the car park to go back to the hotel.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke (right) and US President Ronald Reagan at the White House in the US in 1986
Prime Minister Bob Hawke (right) and US President Ronald Reagan at the White House in the US in 1986
Barrie Cassidy, was Mr Hawke's press secretary from 1986 to 1991, shared the incredible story on ABC News Breakfast on Friday morning
Barrie Cassidy, was Mr Hawke’s press secretary from 1986 to 1991, shared the incredible story on ABC News Breakfast on Friday morning

Waiting for them was a fleet of buses and as they approached the buses, but Mr Hawke said he didn’t want to travel in it.

‘I hate these buses,’ Mr Cassidy recalled him saying. 

‘You sit there and have to wait for the last person to turn up and it takes forever.’

Out of nowhere, a car full of young men pulled up and called out to Mr Hawke, calling him a legend. 

‘Hawkie you’re a legend,’ they yelled from the car.

‘If I’m such a freaking legend, give me a lift to the pub,’ he responded.

They agreed and as they left the MCG carpark, the US congressmen where left shocked at how a former prime minister could get into a car with strangers. 

‘They couldn’t believe a former prime minister would do that,’ Mr Cassidy said. 

Bob Hawke poses for a photograph with a wax figure of himself at a media event to celebrate his 88th birthday
Bob Hawke poses for a photograph with a wax figure of himself at a media event to celebrate his 88th birthday

Mr Hawke died on Thursday aged 89.  

‘Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,’ his wife Blanche d’Alpuget said.

‘Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues. We will miss him.’

Former Labor and Liberal leaders praised the former prime minister and shared heartwarming stories of their memories with him. 

He was the third longest-serving prime minister of Australia.     

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