We’re as good as in an election campaign now, so we really should start reviewing the daily TV images as if they were campaign photo-ops.

Schools seemed to provide the backdrops yesterday, with both the PM and Kevin Rudd off with the little’uns.

The PM was in Melbourne, which was f-cking freezing. That meant he had to get all rugged up to go looking at a water tank and make his announcement about funds to let schools get them. And that meant he looked like some feeble old duffer.

When he got inside to talk with the youths, things weren’t better. They obviously had all been ordered into blazers and the whole thing looked stiff and staged.

In contrast, Kruddy was off with a bunch of much younger kiddlywinks. His performance seemed free-form and fun.

The opposition leader was already one up before we got to the YouTube battles.

We had the PM’s effort – the sort of official announcement that has been standard food for satirists since Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller first fronted the footlights.

And then along came Labor’s ” John Howard asleep on climate change “, featuring a baldie with bushy eyebrows who doesn’t get out of bed despite a string of clocks going off. There’s a framed picture of Howard and Dubya in APEC fancy dress on the bedside table and a Wallabies tracksuit at the foot of the bed.

When you’re able to buy The Crikey Guide to the 2007 Federal Election in bookstores at the end the of month you’ll read how the Pew Research Centre found that in 2004, 32 million Americans either sent or received an email with jokes about that year’s election.

Labor gets the net. John Howard doesn’t. In fact, he even manages to reinforce Labor’s silly old fart message in his own performance.

Chalk another one up to the ALP.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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