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What was Kevin Rudd thinking?

Opinion.

There can only be one of two reasons behind Kevin Rudd’s decision to challenge for the ALP leadership. Some saw it as this: to salvage a few seats for the party facing obliteration in the September elections. That sounds admirable, but that doesn’t sound like Kevin Rudd. It’s too sacrificial. If that were the reason then he has clearly put the party ahead of his own aspirations and would be content with being prime minister for a few short months before leading a ravaged party from the opposition benches. Again, that’s not Kevin Rudd. I don’t think Kevin Rudd would welcome the prospect of an uncertain political future.

I subscribe to another reason he challenged for the leadership. He believes he can win the election.

He defeated a more politically astute opponent in John Howard in 2007 with one simple trick: he screwed with Howard’s head. Between now and the election he’ll do the same with Tony Abbott. He knows he can do this or he would not have made his eventual play for the leadership.

Leading up the the 2007 election Rudd was well ahead in the polls, but it wasn’t until his total carving up of Howard in the leadership debate that I felt confident he’d be moving to The Lodge. Howard, the master politician, was publicly humiliated. So much so, he even lost his own seat.

Tony Abbott doesn’t give me much confidence as a political opponent who could handle the same mind games that brought Howard undone. Rudd knows this. Rudd must surely have been planning for this. Rudd must surely be aware of Abbott’s weaknesses that until now have been given little currency. Calling someone a ‘misogynist’ does not necessarily resonate with the electorate. Witnessing a public unhinging does. Between now and the election Tony Abbott will find out soon enough that Kevin Rudd means business.

Rudd knows he can win the election. And Rudd knows that the only way of achieving this is, simply, by screwing with Abbott’s head. He certainly is vulnerable.

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27 comments

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  1. mark delmege

    That doesn’t explain his perfidy of the last three years.

  2. Fed up

    Well they say it takes a bastard to know one. Maybe it takes one to beat one.

    Being decent definitely does not carry weight in our present political climate.

  3. Fed up

    or excuse it Mark.

  4. Michael Taylor

    True, it doesn’t, Mark. But this is my opinion behind the more recent events.

  5. mark delmege

    Abbott makes KRudd look good. If we get the politicians we deserve we must have been very bad indeed.

  6. lmrh5

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  7. trinine

    I have been deeply disappointed by Rudd, but I hope he’s really has pulled his tricky head in a lot. He is in a different league to Abbott, and the bastard in Rudd may save Labor’s and the country’s bacon- for that I will be thankful.

  8. CMMC

    The enduring health problem our nation struggles with.

    Irony deficiency.

  9. PeterF

    Mark, a fascinating assessment of Rudd and Abbott, backed up with facts and insight. We will get the politicians we deserve if we accept being controlled by the MSM.

  10. wantok

    Whichever way it goes I believe you will see a fairly quick transition in the Liberal leadership to Turnbull.

  11. Neil Ashpole

    Wantok, my thinking as well.

  12. Min

    I wonder at times what is truth and what is a media beat up. I guess that we can never be certain given the msm’s compulsion to twist and distort any “story” which might in some way damage the Labor government. Compare for example the Abbott versus Turnbull issue. Where are the media headlines which scream endlessly month after month about an impending Turnbull takeover? The msm will never do it..they have to keep *their boy* wrapped in cotton wool.

  13. Joy Cooper

    Thank you, Michael, do hope you are right. It would indeed be a delicious prospect to witness the unhinging of Tony Abbott because if anyone would deserve it it would certainly be him. It is the possibility of this which causes him to be kept on such a short rope by his handlers.

    As for those who think Turnbull would be a kinder more honorable Liberal leader, think again. How many times do we have to say UteGate & Godwin Grech to remind people that Turnbull & his wife did gleefully attempt to bring down the legally elected government of Kevin Rudd with their own dirty tricks. Turnbull has also tossed, what were thought to be his principles, out the window to gain power.

  14. Lynnie

    I’ll be interested to see how many people turn up at our branch meeting tomorrow night. Attendance over the last few months has been very low

  15. Douglas Evans

    Peter F
    We always get the politicians we deserve. The MSM is a problem but not totally untrustworthy. The Fifth Estate, so called is a help but far from totally reliable. Understanding what is going on requires careful reading and critical thought. Understanding what is going on is just the first step towards making things better. Change requires direct action backed by credible power. Without this politicians and the political process are impervious to reasoned argument for change. With it they are both remarkably flexible. Until we grow up and begin to take the political process seriously politicians will continue to give equal or greater weight to the interests of the corporate financial backers who put them in power, and their assessment of what it takes to retain power with their responsibility to their constituents and the electorate at large.

  16. Truth Seeker

    Migs, I agree 😀 and that’s part of the reason why I put up my latest post “Since when did motherhood statements become policies?” , because Rudd knows that he will make Abbott look like the policy vacuous tool that he really is. 😀

    Since when did motherhood statements become policies?

    I’ve also written about it in my latest poem, ” Said the Abbott to the Bishop, Take 2″, which will be posted later today or tomorrow 😀

    Keep up the good work 😎

    Cheers ;grin:

  17. Bob Evans

    Finally a story not entirely attacking Rudd. Although I don’t agree with this:

    Some saw it as this: to salvage a few seats for the party facing obliteration in the September elections. That sounds admirable, but that doesn’t sound like Kevin Rudd. It’s too sacrificial. If that were the reason then he has clearly put the party ahead of his own aspirations and would be content with being prime minister for a few short months before leading a ravaged party from the opposition benches. Again, that’s not Kevin Rudd.

    Bit of projection Michael? Yes, I agree he probably wanted to be PM again, but he could have chosen better circumstances than to enter the fray when polls were disastrously low under Gillard. For some reason, many thought this was acceptable. I don’t and obviously Kevin Rudd didn’t. He could have waited until Gillard failed….which she would have and then said I told you so, you should have gone with me. Instead, knowing he was coming from far behind, he entered a campaign where he had a good chance of losing and only would be PM a few months and never be again. Then if he lost , there would have been the black night Gillard supporters saying….”You bastard Rudd, we weren’t dead yet under Gillard, we still had one arm left, we could have won!”.

    I’ve also maintained, Gillard and her ministers did stuff all when the election date was set. They simply went about business and the best they could do was say how negative Tony Abbott is. Rudd gets it. He realises this is a campaign and sitting back waiting for positive reviews from ltd news or Fairfaux is like waiting to win lotto. You get out and make your success. Gillards few and far between public visits had the ring of staged. Rarely did she do impromptu visits. Whereas Rudd does it daily. Making his own news. He knows the Coalition is weak on policy and asks for debates with Abbott and scrutiny of their policies. Meanwhile Gillard was silent.

    Yes, it shouldn’t be about populism, it should be about policy, after all that’s what affects us all. But only the Coalition can get away with having no policy and the leader having no personality. As the conservative owned MSM will dress Abbott up to be a champion, while hiding the flaws. For Labor and the Greens, they have to pound the pavement. They have to make their own success.

    I do believe he can win and that he believes it also. But, to me, he looks like a guy that is fighting not only for himself, but for a better more progressive Australia, as well as the survival of the Labor party. Gillard didn’t give me that impression at all. There was no fight, no passion, no survival instincts, no selling it. At least that was my impression

    Centrebet and Sportsbet still had and have massive odds against Labor, so knowing he was up against appalling odds, would Rudd really go up against potential oblivion, just to satisfy his ego?

  18. rodfairgo

    As you know Michael, I proposed a unified Gillard/Rudd ticket, 2 weeks prior to the spill, surely if both had been mildly country before self, they would have tried or at least discussed this option before the bunfight which eventuated.

    Julia’s big mistake in my opinion, was not to discuss Rudd’s issues sooner, but she kept him on, tried to humour him, and give him every chance to be a team player. Unfortunately, it’s Kev’s way or no way, and the country is the poorer. Yes, lets get behind him, and hope he does win, as he should as the LNP are not really ANY real opposition, when it comes to positive Government.

    Regards

  19. Colin Thai

    Yes well . Rudd is our only runner in the field, of course it would be delightful if he gets up in the election. The story about Rudd messing with Abbotts head !!! I really think someone or something has already done that , have a look at his performance so far. That man has a few problems, and if he wins , it will be OURS !!!!!!. Thanking you……..Ps bring back THE WORM !!!!!

  20. Maureen

    Thanks Michael… I hope you are right!

  21. chris gould

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who predicted Kevin Rudd’s return six weeks out from the election. I believe it was planned from the beginning.

  22. diannaart

    If Rudd really believed in his political ideology, he would’ve supported his team for the past 3 years instead of decimating it.

    But, that’s not like Rudd either.

    Remember Gillard’s team was briefly accepted by the public, even though the change of leadership was abrupt and poorly handled, until all the B/S started….

  23. David Somerfield

    Good story here and I agree with it.
    If I go back to the beginning I was never a huge Rudd fan and was pleased when Gillard went in with the knife..that is until it became obvious what had actually transpired.
    Now it is considered a true fact that at no time did any ministers in Rudds first cabinet attempt to reign him in so then I started to have sympathy with him and it, to me, became a wrong doing.
    If he was so totally out of control as they later stated then a group of cabinet ministers should have had the balls to go into his office and say “look mate we are pissed off, now pull your head in otherwise we will topple you.” But they didn’t and here is where the Rudd personality comes out in me also.
    I also would have gone on a nasty spree looking for blood so I understand him entirely.
    Some purists might not like it but it’s the way it is.
    As time goes by now I do think he can win.
    The MSM (including the ABC sadly) is already trying their best to knife him, especially with this Pink Batts crap (Occupational health and Safety requires people to train their workers not send them into roof cavities armed with a pile of batts and a staple gun FFS!) but I think even the gullible public is beginning to understand that things are crook with the media.
    He always has had Abbotts flaws in his grasp and with almost 3 years on the benches watching Abbott and Pyne and Bishop closely I thoroughly believe he understands exactly what he and the party need to do.
    For the first time in about 15 years I am compelled to go out and register to hand out cards at the booth on polling day.
    This to me is the biggest challenge to the country in my 60 years of living.

  24. doctorrob54

    Good people don’t win elections because scumbags manipulate and turn it against you .One must be clever,articulate charismatic.Qualities that Abbott never had and never will have.All ToxicT can come up with and has repeated every day for three years is,faceless men,even though we all now who supported Julia three years ago.Tow back the boats,Coward turned back four boats out of 286 boats.And the carbon tax will send this nation bust,hear we are with AAA credit rating and the envy of the rest of the free world.Toxic Tony has two chances,FA and none.

  25. mark delmege

    Of course once they tried towing boats back tactics changed and the refugees sunk them or set them on fire. – which is why they stopped towing them. I wouldn’t put any credibility in the credit agencies – they are in league with the scumbags who brought us the Walls Street Shuffle – aka GFC and bankrupted nations. They are not our friends and deserve no credibility. In fact they are a criminal conspiracy. AAA means ripe for picking.

  26. Bob Evans

    Now it is considered a true fact that at no time did any ministers in Rudds first cabinet attempt to reign him in so then I started to have sympathy with him and it, to me, became a wrong doing.
    If he was so totally out of control as they later stated then a group of cabinet ministers should have had the balls to go into his office and say “look mate we are pissed off, now pull your head in otherwise we will topple you.” But they didn’t

    Spot on.

    Yes, the leader (Gillard) that everyone said had great strength and resolve and asked that people “get behind the leader”, instead without a word of warning, gutlessly and publicly stabbed Kevin Rudd, ousting a sitting PM none the less. And they accuse Rudd of being ego driven.

    So much for tact, so much for strategy, so much for respect.

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