TONY ABBOTT moved a step closer to becoming Prime Minister in 13 days’ time today; flanked by his wife and introduced by his daughters, Abbott made an impressive speech to launch the Coalition’s election campaign in Brisbane as it seeks to end six years of incompetent and chaotic Labor government.
I’ll keep my remarks brief.
I think the Coalition has pulled off the perfect launch event today; so much so that it’s a shame Newspoll’s researchers would have been just about done for the week when it kicked off — I think anyone who was watching could hardly have failed to be impressed.
The warm-up acts — deputy opposition leader and National Party leader Warren Truss, and deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop — nailed the outgoing government beautifully, and Kevin Rudd in particular.
It’s not as if there isn’t — and wasn’t — a lot of material for them to work with…
Bishop’s caricaturisation of Rudd as someone with a multiple personality disorder (nerdy Rudd, cool Rudd, nasty Rudd etc) was bang on target, and only an ALP sycophant could even attempt to deny the logic of the illustration.
And the Abbott girls — Frances and Bridget (appearing without their sister Louise, presently in Europe) — were a masterstroke in public relations as they have been throughout the campaign.
Their simple act of vouching for their father was clearly genuine, and their anecdotes of him genuinely amusing; these impressive young women — intelligent, vivacious, engaging, and extremely attractive — have shadowed Abbott throughout the campaign, and as much of a hit they may have been with young males, they have allowed Abbott’s decent human side to be displayed in the most natural sense.
The whole exercise was a contrast: between the authenticity of Abbott and the Liberal Party, and the automaton Rudd and the tired, shaky, factionally-riven and dishonest organisation he nominally leads.
But today was Abbott’s day, and he didn’t disappoint: he looked and sounded Prime Ministerial, and I encourage any reader who missed his address to watch it here.
The YouTube link I have posted is from Channel 7, and is in three sections; parts 2 and 3 are however also online, and can be accessed once the first section has been viewed.
Interestingly, Seven’s feed had the worm attached to it, and — whilst I didn’t watch it in its entirety when selecting the link (I watched the launch on ABC24 live today) — I did note that the only time approval of Abbott fell below 50% was whenever he made any reference at all to Kevin Rudd.
It isn’t even clear who was in the group that constituted “the worm.” But if they were truly representative of uncommitted floating voters, then this might just be an indication of the depth of trouble Rudd and Labor find themselves in.
In closing — and for readers’ amusement — it appears Clive Palmer staged his own party’s launch today to coincide with that of the Liberals and Tony Abbott.
Needless to say, if he thought for a second that it would draw attention from the Liberals, the calculation backfired; indeed, I wouldn’t have even known had he not flooded Twitter with bits and pieces about it — his speech for instance, packed with wild and uncosted promises — that may be accessed here.
But to finish where we started, I think the positive, energetic event staged by the Coalition today should give it a further fillip of support: Abbott and the Liberals are providing no end of reasons for the undecided and the jaded to support them. It now remains to be seen how Rudd, and the ALP machine, respond to it.