In an extraordinary address in Sydney on Tuesday evening, Republican giant John McCain begged an Australian audience that included two former prime ministers, diplomats and business leaders for patience and even leadership to sustain the alliance between the US and Australia during the Trump presidency. Speaking as a guest of the United States Studies Centre in the State Library's grand reading room, McCain began his speech with a reverent reflection upon the shared sacrifices of Australian and American soldiers over a century, before acknowledging the uncertainty the new administration had caused around the world.