Bob the backroom boy. Former NSW premier Bob Carr seems set to have a major role in Kevin Rudd’s campaign, what the gossip mags call “pals” tell Crikey. And the talk seems sure – Simon Banks, former adviser to Simon Crean, David Cox, Rob McClellan and Stephen Smith, looks likely to be appointed Rudd’s chief of staff.

NSW Libs struggling. The NSW Liberal Party has yet to find candidates for ten seats with just six weeks to voting day, the Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday – including Rockdale, home of Planning Minister Frank Sartor. It’s not a good sign if they can’t find someone willing to run against Cranky Frankie.

Battle of the ratbags. Sick of being outdone by the New South Wales Division, the Victorian Liberals now have a pointless preselection of their own. The outer suburban Labor seat of Holt is being contested by yampy former fed Ken Aldred and right wing Bible-basher and one time Young Liberal president Emanuele Cicchiello. Paul Keating famously described Aldred as “the brain-damaged Honourable Member for Bruce,” while Cicchiello was the favourite for a state preselection until the party faithful became aware of his views. It’s suspected that the party officials will reopen nominations in the hopes a credible candidate may emerge.

Could it happen here? Kiwi Conservation Minister Chris Carter married his long-term partner Peter Kaiser today in a civil union attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark on Saturday. Could something similar ever happen here?

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