ABC TV breakfast host Virginia Trioli was among the few brave enough to voice a negative opinion of NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield’s “A Space Oddity” lip-sync, saying it lacked a sense of irony. But compared with Treasurer Wayne Swan’s plan to deliver a spending plan for the next 10 years? Independent Tony Windsor wasn’t fooled, suggesting Swan’s pledge will probably last only until September. Ground control to Major Swan.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott took out second spot courtesy of his pledge to unspend Australia back to surplus. Abbott shaded the PM, whose political fortunes hinge on her ability to defend spending in a week of big spending announcements. Tough gig. And receiving less media attention than her opposite number in budget week is unusual — it reflects that we’re effectively into campaign mode, garnering the pair equal time, and that Abbott is being viewed by some as de facto PM.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese bounces back into the top 20 by way of $3 billion in major infrastructure funding announcements, but didn’t get ahead of Peter Slipper, who failed to gain entry into Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, presumably for writing “suburbs” as his address on the membership form.

Aside from the budget chatter, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles gained hefty coverage for his insistence that fears of another stolen generation wouldn’t stand in his way of removing indigenous children from harmful family lives.

Crikey Political Index: May 9-15

Abbott might have edged out Gillard in our overall index, but talkback callers favoured discussions about the PM, the majority negative in sentiment.

Talkback top five

Never mind his ever-increasing irrelevance to the political conversation, Kevin Rudd still plays the Twittersphere like a pro.

Social media top five

Despite payment being taken for the latest allegations against him, things look wobbly for Rolf.

Comparisons on media mentions

Peter Fray

A lot can happen in 3 months.

3 months is a long time in 2020. Join us to make sense of it all.

Get you first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12. Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

12 weeks for $12