Campaign countdown: deal done, but will it count?
Well Kevin Rudd might be at war with the miners, but yesterday he was finally able to announce a major deal - with Telstra. The PM, who’s been clutching at small pieces of good news lately was pretty happy to demonstrate: “what can be yielded through a process of negotiation.”
Announcing the agreement for Telstra to shift large chunks of its operation onto the National Broadband Network was a rare moment of respite for Rudd, who this morning woke to more Newspoll pain. According to the latest survey, Tony Abbott has narrowed the gap in the preferred PM stakes.
And judging by the very clever new Minerals Council ad I saw on Masterchef last night, clearly the “process of negotiation” with the miners hasn’t progressed much.
According to this morning’s Oz: “Labor has failed to lift its primary support and the Prime Minister has reached a new high of voter dissatisfaction.”
“Although the Opposition Leader continues to maintain record high levels of personal dissatisfaction with voters, he has halved Mr Rudd’s lead as the preferred prime minister in the past three weeks.”
The primary votes still sit at 35 Labor 40 Coalition. Clearly voters aren’t thrilled with either side, considering Abbott is still so unpopular.
Phil Coorey in the SMH says Abbott is now trying to maintain a certain level of discipline, for himself and his troops, in a classic example of a small target strategy.
With the political conversation fixated on Labor’s internal workings, poor polls and its mining tax, and with the cashed-up minerals industry doing much of the opposition’s job for it, the Coalition, quite wisely, sees no need to create a distraction.
In The Age Michelle Grattan says Rudd was keen to downplay the routing for Labor in this weekend’s state by-election in NSW, saying: ‘‘It’s our long experience … that the Australian people vote differently on state and federal political matters.’‘
He’d better hope so. The Daily Telegraph this morning says the gloss has worn off NSW golden girl Kristina Keneally, who now can’t seriously distance herself from this weekend’s drubbing in the Penrith by-election.
According to the Tele:
Despite Ms Keneally’s claims (the former Member for Penrith was to blame), internal Liberal polling had Labor’s primary vote in Penrith at 33 per cent after the resignation of Ms Paluzzano, with support falling to 24 per cent as ministers David Campbell, Ian Macdonald and Graham West resigned. And Ms Keneally’s “net favourability” rating (the difference between her approval and disapproval rating) also fell from 20 to 15 in just three weeks. Focus group comments revealed voters for the first time were starting to blame her for the rot.
But by far the most fascinating contribution to the debate this weekend was from former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in, of all places, the UK Spectator. In a scorching assessment of Rudd’s character, Downer says the PM is interested in nothing less than fame.
Its a ripping read, particularly the story about a Rudd tanty when a VIP plane scrambled to take a delegation to Jakarta after the embassy bombing in 2004 wasn’t re-routed to pick him up in Brisbane.
Downer indulges in what is a popular pastime at the moment, psychoanalysing the PM.
Rudd wants fame. He wants to be on TV every night. He wants to be recognised everywhere he goes. He wants to be the centre of attention. That’s why he casts people aside when he’s done with them, it’s why he courts the media, it’s why as a shadow minister he had his staff film him making a statement and then sent it to TV stations. It wasn’t because he wanted power, it was because he wanted to be on TV.
Rudd must be getting sick of people trying to get inside his mind. I bet he’d really love to tell them all to #@*& off!
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