Whitewash? No: Rudd-wash!

I know, it’s just a debate. Don’t get too excited. It doesn’t predict everything.

But seriously: Kevin Rudd must feel like a million bucks right about now. And if he saw the same popularity that the worm showed him, then the Coalition might just be an afterthought in the election after this; behind the Greens and Family First.

Rudd, simply put, wiped the floor with Howard. Rudd out-spoke, out-maneuvered, and out-politicised Howard on nearly every front. The only places made ground on Rudd were unions (but we all saw that comin) and on the environment. But the environment only because he pulled out some big guns – guns that I didn’t expect him to have. He turned on the U.S. and then announced policy. Smart thinking but …

Not as smart as Rudd. He managed to turn every question either around to one of his selling points (education, health, social issues) or managed to just talk his way through anything. I never fully realised it before, but Rudd is probably the best speaker (in terms of eloquence and fluence) going in politics in Australia. I had always known he was a good speaker, but had in the back of my mind that if he every paired off with Howard, that Howard would be able to politic his way out of any question, and it wouldn’t matter how good a speaker Rudd was. Howard’s slipperiness didn’t matter this time as Rudd was able to outshine him on 95% of all front.

The reaction of the worm was truly classic (sometimes interesting) at points. Howard talking about Costello saw the worm lead-ass it’s way to the floor, while Rudd talking about his strengths (education, health, social issues) saw the worm rise so high that there was an actual gap between the graph and the worm. Surprisingly, as I have said, Howard got a good reaction to the environment, while Rudd was way above where I would have put him for national security and terrorism.

An hour and a half was good, but at times tedious (especially when it got onto economics). No ad breaks was a rather foreign thing to me – what with the only ABC show I regularly watch (Question Time) on break. If they were one hour, three quizzing press members, and more time to question one another, I would be happy to sit through three. But with the format we just had, two would be quite enough. I could see that both men began to pan-handle everyone towards the 45 minute mark, where they were obviously about to repeat a whole lot of what they had said for the previous three quarters of an hour.

However, regardless, I would deem it a success for Rudd (Channel 9 thinks it was a 65 to 29 Rudd-was) and something that we needed. It’s a shame there won’t be more to mix up the campaigning, but there will be campaigning none-the-less. Which means more politics!



4 thoughts on “Whitewash? No: Rudd-wash!

  1. Rumble in the Jungle?

    More like a pillow fight between nerds

    Howard has lost just about every debate since he was elected.

    Worm or no worm, he lost this one hands down too.

    What was interesting was how many questions Howard did not answer definitively.

    I sensed that this was not so much him being evasive but rather that he truly believes that the answers he provided were OK.

    This isn’t a sign of hubris but rather a sign of the early onset of Alzheimer’s or something related.

    The camera pans to find Costello et al with fake beaming smiles for there Leader.

    I’m reminded of Peter Sellers character Chance the Gardener in the movie “Being There”.

    Tonight he was revealed not what he has become but for what he always was.

    So too some revelations about the political maturation of Australians.

    Herein lay the clues to his obvious demise.

  2. Great comment Vic. Very nice.

    Yes, Howard managed to no-answer a lot more than Rudd – probably because Rudd actually had real answers, while Howard had, as you said, actually believed in what he was saying.

    Difference between policy and rhetoric.

  3. I liveblogged this last night, which was an, um, interesting experience. I think it was a good debate, overall – quite a lot of substantive policy discussion and less sniping than I had thought. They almost acted like… grownups.

    I thought Rudd was truly excellent – he had a nice relaxed manner about him and did a good job of explaining the policy differences between him and Howard. JH’s climate change fund threw me for a loop – it sounds like a good idea, but raising it in a debate without much in the way of detail was an odd way of going about it. I imagine the idea was to derail Rudd – thankfully it didn’t seem to work.

  4. I too was surprised at the enviro-policy that Howard announced. I would have thought he’d announce something that didn’t need substantial details to explain it – instead he went for this. Strange tactis, didn’t seem to win in the long run, but scored him better points on the immediate.

    I read your liveblogging – it was great.

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