Kevin Rudd’s leadership may be in doubt, but his baby kissing ability remains strong, judging by his showing yesterday at his paid parental leave scheme spruik. Rudd’s paid parental leave plan is expected to pass today or tomorrow with little fuss, but Rudd still fronted the media with ministers and mums in tow.

Problem was, much of the spotlight was taken up by Rudd’s comment regarding 2UE journo Latika Bourke’s outfit. When asked by Bourke why his leadership was in crisis, Rudd replied “Well that’s a point of language which you have used and used which is dramatically consistent with the dress which you have chosen today. It’s a great tie, it’s a nice hat, I like it a lot”. Bourke was wearing a fedora hat, shirt, tie and black pants.

Let’s hope the spotlight returns to debating the paid parental leave scheme itself. Here’s what the pundits are saying:

The Australian

Paul Kelly: Reform is kid’s play with right process

This is a genuine achievement of Kevin Rudd’s first term, a much needed success and therapy.

The Age

Katharine Murphy: Crisis or not, it’s always time for politics

With the building crackling with speculation about leadership plots, real or imagined, or perhaps both, the Prime Minister took time out to lend his office to the difficult business of passing his government’s paid parental leave legislation. (This, incidentally, is the legislation that is expected to pass today or maybe tomorrow after a bit of argy-bargy among the unrepresentative swill.)


A Dingo Stole My Baby: Sylvestor Langford: Oh look, Kevin is back: Rudd urges Coalition not to block Labor’s parental leave scheme – The Australian

The most interesting aspect of Kevin’s return to the view of the media cameras is not so much the fact it was “carefully staged” as a “surprise appearance” but more the fact he came out fighting a debate that doesn’t actually exist!

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey