Feb 1, 2013

Labor’s plot to make Tony Abbott into Mitt Romney

In naming an election date eight months out, Julia Gillard's inner circle are establishing the first US-style election campaign in Australia's history. Tony Abbott will be cast similarly to Mitt Romney.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


God love it or hate it, but there is nothing like Australian political coverage.

The Americans specialise in the sort of ding-dong attitudinising created by 24-hour news channels, unwilling to do reports when think tanks will prove 23-year-old talking heads gratis; coverage of the internal workings of party or policies is out of the question. The British? Well it’s like the parody of race-calling from the ancient Naked Vicar Show: “They’ve started … and Tronsom’s Boy is going much faster than all the other horses … and Tronsom’s Boy has won the race …”.

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26 thoughts on “Labor’s plot to make Tony Abbott into Mitt Romney

  1. Holden Back

    Cue “FrameWatch” or “FrameGate”? Or is it a way of getting closer to Michelle Grattan?

  2. lulu2503

    Obama’s campaign was characterised by an extensive, highly motivated and able network of community organisers and supporters, who used social media effectively to drive the campaign’s messages home to voters at the grassroots level. It would do no harm to the Gillard campaign to adopt a similar strategy.

  3. GF50

    Guy, I think you article is somewhat off beam. LNP and LOTO have been in GOP style campaign mode for over 2 years.
    LNP/LOTO have set the agender. Fact free, lies, use of the justice system, slogans (direct from GOP handbook) personal villification, repeted ad nauseum as fact by complicit MSN/ABC.
    The PM is not crisis prone nor is her Government, this is a confection of MSM/ABC opinion not fact.
    I can only hope that the LOTO’s perma tan and whitened teeth, will be treated in the same vein as the comment on the PM’s glasses.

  4. Alex

    Has Labor considered the fact that Mr Rabbit migh have god on his side? I say “might”, ’cause god might find him as insufferable as many of us do, despite him being such a good Catholic frog. For myself, if Mr Rabbit does get up, I’m gonna renounce my atheism and hunt down ALL gods and kill ’em! After a good round of well deserved water-boarding, of course!

    That is all.

    NB. The non-capitalisation of “god” is deliberate and considered.

  5. SusieQ

    I quite like this analysis, except that for me (already bored to tears with the election) there is nothing Labour can do to redeem itself – it has become a slightly left version of the Liberal party – to me, there is little difference between them and that is one of the differences between here and the USA. You can have all the savvy ‘on the ground’ organisation in the world, but if your policies are the same as the other mob, whats the point?
    Oh and a huge brickbat to the Age for covering the changes in Julia’s looks over the years – why? Is there going to be similiar coverage of Tony?

  6. AR

    A long campaign will benefit Labor only if the MSM do a half decent job – the portents thus far are not good.

  7. Venise Alstergren

    AR: You have to be joking. The MSM reporting the facts without lies and media spin; and Rupert Murdoch will drop dead I suppose?

  8. Warren Joffe

    As usual Criky bloggers despise the average voters ability to decide what is in his or her interests and vote accordingly.

    On Rundle’s point…
    There are huge differences between Abbott and Romney. Romney’s almost irrelevant ability to run a profitable private equity outfit cautionsly and competently is probably not as important as Abbott’s considerable experience of actual hands-on politics and his ability with words written and spoken, curiously enhanced by his occasional gaffes and incoherences.

    Michelle Grattan is right in saying his undertaking to take his front bench into government unchanged is stupid. But one of his strengths is to change course without much fuss. That is a “promise” he clearly can, and should, change before the election. Even if he doesn’t but doesn’t keep the “promise” after the election it isn’t a “no carbon tax” type of promise. Only a handful of people would notice or care.

    Of course he shouldn’t make any promises at all. Only say what the aims are and that it will depend on what the state of the Budget left behind by Labor turns out to be whether they are achieved in the first term or not.

  9. CML

    @ Warren Joffe – The trouble is, the ability of the “average voter” to decide what is in their best interests is non-existent!
    Most of them who vote for the coalition only have half a brain, and don’t realise that doing so is definitely NOT in their best interests!


    Tony Abbott has not only borrowed the GOP’s modus operandi, he’s also got Rupert Murdoch in the same corner, with all the spurious ‘news’ and distortion of plain fact that entails.

    Plus, the clincher: he has borrowed the Republican’s House majority leader Boehner’s bottled suntan.

    What more proof do you want?

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