The problem Abbott faces is that there are real barriers to implementing his program but behind him is a party of which some sections are determined to make sure he does.
Rudd’s problem was that he did not clarify why he was distinct from the party that had dumped him and the institutions that had blocked his return, which would have given the “New Way” slogan any meaning.
The debate showed how much Rudd, rather than maintain the aura of incumbency he so well established when he returned, has needed to take up the negativity himself. Shouldn’t the ads be doing that?
In failing to make its anti-political attack on the Coalition, Labor is seeing it rebound and they being the “political” operators.
Could it be that the RBA had more influence over election timing than Sussex St?
The common theme running through the message is a new way economic policy is being viewed, namely that government is not responsible for the state of the economy, rather just for protecting the electorate from the worst of it.
“We will decide” was a phoney bit of Australian unilateralism made possible at a time of that phoney bit of US unilateralism, the War on Terror.
The Great Destabiliser has moved up a notch.
Rudd appears to have learnt lessons in exile, but the main one doesn’t look to be to consult more with his colleagues.
The lack of a convincing reason on the source of Rudd’s popularity, is not because political commentators are thick, but because the answer is uncomfortable.