Crikey vox pops  — conducted while mingling at dinner parties, nattering over lattes and the Guggenheim collection  —  show that a lot of people can’t helping Joe Hockey, no matter what their political leaning.

Sadly, we hear that this only fuelled things…

Howard stumbling over the name of Vanessa Goodwin, Coalition candidate for Franklin? Painful. Hockey doing the same thing a few weeks earlier? Endearing.

Classic guilty political crush.

Sure, it’s superficial, but there’s a serious side. Is it the stuff of which swing voting is made?

Perhaps. Hockey is personable, good-natured and looks like a kindly union boss, pretty useful considering the portfolio and the voters he needs to reassure.

As Crikey noted on 13 June, the Prime Minister knew what he was doing when he “put the avuncular Hockey in charge, replacing the sterner sell of former workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews”.

The figures seemed to bear out the wisdom. June’s Sensis Consumer Report, reported in The Australian, found that just 28% of Australians believe WorkChoices would have a negative impact on them, down from 36% in the previous quarter.

Whether Hockey’s amicability is powerful enough to counteract the most recent AWA bad news story is another question.

In some ways, he’s the new Amanda Vanstone. Forget politics, people just liked her, often in spite of themselves. Her self-deprecation and genuineness cut through the sterility of the political scene, transcending partisan boundaries.

Vanstone was always happy to ring journalists directly, begrudge their questions, but still answer them straight. And she said things like this (to the PM talking national security): 

I asked him if I was able to get on a plane with an HB pencil, which you are able to, and I further asked him if I went down and came and grabbed him by the front of the head and stabbed the HB pencil into your eyeball and wiggled it around down to your brain area, do you think you’d be focusing?…

The lady even has a nostalgia photo page on her political website which sees her posing alongside a human sheep.

A Crikey office secret ballot reveals groupies for John Anderson, Maxine McKew, Kate Ellis, Ted Baillieu and Kim Beazley.

So what’s your forbidden wonk love?

Are you a Gunns exec who’d love to rub oil into Peter Garrett’s pate? Do Paul Keating’s numbers do a number on you? Want to rhumba with Kevin even though you tango with Johnnie at the ballot box? Have a thing for redheads?

Send your guilty political crushes to [email protected].

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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