When the story of the 2007 federal election is written, these words will feature prominently: “My name’s Kevin, I’m from Queensland, I’m here to help.” That was how Rudd began his keynote Labor Party Conference speech in Sydney this morning, and those words will either come back to honour him or haunt him, depending on the outcome.

This morning Rudd was presidential and his party was reverential. It was an energising “It’s Time” speech themed largely on the longevity of the Howard government and the need for a fresh face in Canberra …

The time’s up for Mr Howard, the time’s up for Mr Howard and his government, the time’s up for all his excuses about why he couldn’t act when he had 11 years in which to act.

This election in just a few months’ time will be about the future versus the past … and we, friends, are the party of the future … and our opponents, friends, have become the party of the past.

Mr Howard doesn’t really believe in a single idea which didn’t appear on black and white television.

Will it work? As Rudd put it this morning: “We’ve barely passed half way and you know something, we can expect our opponents to throw everything at us including the kitchen sink because, you know something friends, they have everything to lose, political power in itself, the thing Mr Howard cares about most of all.”

The kitchen sink? If that’s all that he thinks will be thrown at him, he’s going into this campaign badly under-prepared. Kevin Rudd needs to plan for Sherman tanks, not kitchen sinks.