With advisors like these …

Tuesday, 7 August 2007 

Some commentators are in danger of confusing leadership malaise with leadership speculation.

Not least David Barnett who in yesterday’s Canberra Times called for Howard to resign before the Liberals replaced him. With who exactly? Certainly not the supposed long-running ‘challenger’ to Howard, Costello. After making damaging criticisms of Howard when he was firmly entrenched, Costello did nothing about it when they were published a year later and Howard was way behind in the polls. It is a sign of the vacuum in the party that someone who is supposed to be Howard’s biggest threat was prepared to see his future leadership chances self-destruct rather than challenge the leader of a party heading towards a historic defeat.

The release of the internal Crosby/Textor Liberal polling suggesting that Howard is a problem for the Liberals will not help a challenger either because, if polling is going to be their guide, they show any alternative would lose the Liberals even more votes. This vacuum at the top may help Howard hold on to the leadership despite the bad polling, but for the government as a whole it just re-emphasises its lack of direction and authority. This is now made even worse by a ‘failed states’ strategy that effectively hands over blame, but also responsibility, for key parts of the government’s re-election case, like interest rates, to the states. This was a strategy suggested by Crosby/Textor themselves. Is it too late to get new advisors?

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Tuesday, 7 August 2007.

Filed under Tactics

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