Has the Prime Minister’s famed morning power walk become a political liability?
With an ever hungry YouTube army searching for footage during the campaign, and an equally hungry evening news team ripping YouTube off, the morning walk is providing plenty of fodder.
The Chaser have always used the predictability of the Prime Ministerial power walk to hector the poor man as he takes a turn around the nearest body of water:
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
But abuse being hurled by fellow early morning walkers is something new.
Gone are the days of the spontaneous screwdriver hug…
To be replaced with heckling by the harbour, the banks of Lake Burley Griffin (by a man wearing blue blockers no less — footage below), the River “bloody a-sehole” Torrens, and now, the Swan River.
This morning began with a sweeter start to Howard’s day: two supportive primary school children held a ghetto blaster aloft Lloyd Dobler style to blare a local Liberal attack ad on trade unions.
Then came the Labor supporter walking his dog: “You’re going down guys – all the way to the gutter.”
But while the tracksuited tradition might be turning into a spinner’s worst nightmare, we say it’s a reassuring example of democracy at work.
Imagine trying to get this close to Bush on his bike ride – you wouldn’t get the “a” out of “a-sehole” out before being tackled by a team of secret service people. Hats off to John Howard for persisting with a long-standing morning ritual in the face of adversity.
So if you want to walk alongside the Prime Minister round a lake near you, check the Crikey election tracker daily:
It’s your chance to compliment (or cuss at) the incumbent.