Mud slinging didn’t work. Advertising is failing. Polls are in. The Prime Minister is in trouble. And he knows it. Rudd has a cliche for every occasion and he has his MP’s on message trotting out the “John Howard is a clever politician” mantra at every turn. They’re singing the same tune, and people are listening. Howard has apparently gone a bridge too far, he’s an old man and it’s time for change. While Howard has been condemned for negative campaigning Rudd has been subtly digging the foundations out from under the seemingly unassailable castle Howard. He displayed an air of cockiness right up to the Federal Budget where he changed tact. RUDD: There’s still a few months to go before this election. But he’ll get a surge in the polls and I dare say I won’t. Here’s a progression of statements from K-Rudd over the last few months:
“I’ll say to you friends one and all, win this election we will.”
“I’ve always said we’re up against a clever politician and he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
“You can’t hand out a bucketful of money to the Australian community and not get some bounce.”
It will be very much a marathon and … I expect we’ll take a pounding in the opinion polls as a result of this budget.”
Both parties are desparate to secure underdog status prior to the polls because we all know Australia loves an underdog. The PM has gradually been moving away from blatant antagonism to something more subtle.
“I’m not boasting that I’m going to win, as my opponent is.”
“The public opinion polls suggest we would not just lose but be annihilated.”
“People might think I’ve got a rabbit to pull out of the hat. I don’t.”
The Howard government waited for Labor’s inevitable implosion under Latham – but it seems unlikely they’ll get the same result from the artist formerly known as Dr Death, K-Rudd. He seems to have his temper, and the Labor factions under control. So Howard’s boys have joined the chorus line – they’re now dishing out back handed compliments to the Labor front bench.
“Julia Gillard’s on the front cover of the ABC magazine, she’s in Women’s Weekly
and all those things,” Industrial Relations Minister Joe Hockey told reporters.
“I’m not as pretty as Julia Gillard, obviously.”
Finance Minister, Senator Nick Minchin told ABC radio today: “The Prime Minister
was just stating the reality that on current polls, if these current polls
continue then there will be a change of government and a Rudd Labor government
would be elected decisively.”
Labor’s response was once again elegantly on message…
“I think that’s a piece of political trickiness for which the Prime Minister is notorious,” Labor MP Kelvin Thomson told reporters.