Rats and Liberals give Rudd gravitas

Friday, 10 October 2008 

What is your biggest fear for Australia, right now, what is your nightmare for Australia?

K O’Brien The 7.30 Report

Rudd’s performance on The 7.30 Report last night was better than his last appearance three weeks ago. But much of the difference was down to Kerry O’Brien who since then seems to have become a hysteric. It is not hard to appear like a statesman against such histrionics.

The panic is also making Turnbull’s continuation of Nelson’s pseudo-populism look less well-timed to normal media supporters of the tactic like Shanahan. Turnbull’s taking on the banks last week was an especially bad move after they put him in his place following the last interest rate cut. Like Nelson’s pushing for a rate cut a month ago, Turnbull has put himself in a position that may not play well to a party still clinging to an economic credibility as its one key selling point.

Yet if Rudd is appearing increasingly statesman-like, it isn’t because he has done anything. Unlike the US administration and the Europeans, he hasn’t needed to do anything but call foreign leaders – and tell everyone he has done so. The political classes in the US and Europe have been caught out by the crisis and have been trying to regain credibility ever since. The global half point rate cut on Wednesday was more to show that world leaders could coordinate something, no matter how ineffectual.

With the media and the Liberals still wobbly, the government should easily benefit. But if things begin to go wrong in the economy, you have to wonder what will happen to a government that has no real social basis from which to manage it.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Friday, 10 October 2008.

Filed under Tactics

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