Topic: election Oz 2007
Picture 1 of 4: First they laugh at you 4min 46 sec ABC video on demand. Govt Ministers evidence an assured perhaps scornful hilarity as the Rudd speech ploughs on presumably fortfied by their huge $70 billion budget spend on voters providing the real politik context the challenger must overcome direct or indirect.
Picture 2 of 4: Then they listen to you 14min 52 sec ABC video on demand. Government front and back bench are all ears, showing Rudd is cutting through even to his worst critics.
Picture 3 of 4: Then they hate you 16min 40 sec ABC video on demand. A real ouch moment for Ministers Vaile, Costello, McGauran and PM Howard at this point with Rudd omparing their 3 technical schools with his rollout for some 2,500 trade facilities in all high schools.
Picture 4 of 4: Then you win, 27 min 04 sec ABC video on demand: Wayne Swan conspicuously what ... happy, satisfied, confident at the performance of his leader Rudd? Well maybe but it's finally come to us, he's actually proud of his Queensland colleague's gutsy effort. Fair enough.
Comment: The camera doesn't lie. The intellectual dynamic is shown in the images above. Costello pledged very many billions coming from a very low polling base. Rudd has pledged only a few billions coming from a very high polling base and a good 6 months until an election in October after the APEC meeting in Sydney in September 07.
Rudd has the measure of the Howard government, and thus the PM is sounding like an Opposition in the news cycle today.
Greenpeace are unhappy with lack of solid climate change policy but this ignores the timetable reality over this election period
- set by Costello's weak performance on climate change on Budget Night while flagging it's coming, and
- Rudd's symbolic words of assurance also holding it back for the voters closer to the election.
And on the speaking style of Rudd: Fast, strong with an emotional undertone of conviction (I recognise from my own local councilor battles):
This is a guy who can focus when the pressure is on (undoubtedly as per interview/policy glitches over the two preceding days) and can capably ignore the noise of the political rivals. That's the emotional message that Rudd demonstrated subliminally to Australia with his budget speech in reply. It is why Wayne Swan was smiling at the substance of the performance.
It's a quality political reply speech in an overtly political dynamic. Malcolm Farr of the Murdoch press seems to agree in his comment piece on abc radio earlier today (and maybe his press we haven't yet seen): Indeed the speech was surprising and gutsy for presenting on its own terms, rather than be spooked or driven by the big dollars at Costello's whim last Tuesday night.
This is a solid foundation for a 6 month winning Rudd election campaign, and that's not just from an ALP loyalist like Kim Beazley on abc The World Today programme today.
The camera doesn't lie, as some astute senior politicians are beginning to realise as per this image also from the Budget Reply web video below: Julia Gillard MHR (ALP) for most of the 30 minute speech is a picture of composure, head nodding or brief nattters to colleague to one side. Only once does she block her face with hand yet in a split second re composes for the camera (including web video via abc etc) surely aware right the lens is right at them all on the front bench.
(Compare our collection of images of grumpy PM from budget night in an earlier post, with John Howard pulling faces all the way through surely not realising the power of web video play, replay, and freeze frame.)
Postscript #1: The PM made an extraodinary admission at the tail end of the PM show tonight - he didn't expect a bounce in the polls. Well, after spending $70 billion on voter concerns to not get a bounce would suggest a real malaise in the appeal of this PM and or this government. Nor would the government be comforted by the front page of the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian or Australian Financial Review which look more or less positive to Rudd who in a big trying week for the ALP is potentially still getting the last word.
Laura Tingle in the AFR has a column suggesting the huge budget spend of the govt has a short politicial shelf life. How she as a veteran reporter can be sidelining such a huge spend so early is pretty devastating talk for this govt and we think she is probably right. Not least because Howard is a well known hawk and articles by such as Prof Hugh White yesterday 10th may 2007 seeking a diplomatic role for Australia in liaison between China and the USA on arms control makes the current PM all the more unsuitable: Another nuclear arms race is in the offing
Christian Kerr a former coalition adviser with crikey.com.au argues in their ezine today that Rudd may well be cutting through to the voters over the head of the commentators. If this is true, and Howard is already playing down expectations of a poll bounce at all, he must be hoping to win a slow grinding battle over many months to come. A feint hope from our vantage point.