In the end Julia Gillard didn’t have much choice in bringing Bob Carr to Canberra, Stephen Smith and Simon Crean’s reported intervention assuring that she had to make a stand, and luckily it’s the one job Bob really always wanted (some NSW folk may have noticed he didn’t have his mind entirely on the job for the ten years he was Premier). There are a multitude of pluses for the PM, Carr being a great media performer, someone who helps everyone forget Kevin Rudd, ensconced in the Senate and probably happy to stay right where he is unlike his predecessor in the portfolio. The downside some commentators found was that the way he dominates the media pack will put in even sharper relief the lacklustre public performances of those around him.

Wayne Swan meanwhile has morphed into Huey Long, berating the billionaires and standing up for Struggle Street, while Craig Emerson and David Bradbury attempt to publicly support him while saying he doesn’t mean most of it and big business loves the Government. Really.

In Queensland, the one big issue remains whether Campbell Newman will beat the incumbent Kate Jones in Ashgrove, with the media reporting voter fatigue as both sides pour huge resources into the seat. Apparently Ashgrove residents are boycotting popular shopping areas to avoid campaigners.

Social media numbers were high again this week but nowhere near the volume of last week. Talkback and online discussions included Gillard’s leadership and Carr’s new role, with KRudd still pipping Swanny despite him calling les miserable to the barricades.

Clive can pretty much do or say whatever he wants, and we think Clive likes that. And now a National Living Treasure to boot. Clive always knew that.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey