If you tossed the words “Maxine McKew” into Google News at 11:00am this morning, 382 references would have come up.

When you take on a prime minister in their own electorate and you represent the main opposition party, you’re always guaranteed a run – but is the ALP exploiting something else here? The media like nothing better than reporting the media. And that means they’re just mad for Maxine.

McKew is a credible candidate in her own right. But she’ll be even more potent if the media continue to cover her to this extent. She’ll get the PM really bogged in Bennelong and restrict his campaign capacity.

Indeed, you’ve got to wonder if the Gallery is being a little too soft on Labor as a whole at the moment.

A change of government is a big, big story – and you wonder if the reptiles are doing their best to make it happen.

Take Rudd’s “Mr Howard himself represents a national security risk for this country” comments last week. Rudd realised he’d gone too far and toned them down to say the PM was “looming as an increasing risk for Australia’s long-term national security”.

Overkill? The PM said so – but he would, wouldn’t he. Rudd’s comments only really got a run when they were picked over in the weekend comment columns.

Kevin Rudd is pitching for the Lodge by being as conservative as possible. It’s strange then that he appears to have adopted a maxim of Malcolm McLaren, the S-x Pistols manager: “The media was our lover and our helper”.

Peter Fray

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