Barry Soper writes:
Just like old times Clark appeared in front of a media scrum and with a smile said she’s got nothing to announce right now, with an upward inflection on the now.
Well maybe not now, but for the top job candidates there will be formal interaction with General Assembly members in a couple of week’s time which presumably means an announcement from her is imminent.
It really all comes down to Russia. If they signal one of the Eastern European candidates is acceptable to them, then they’ll get the job. If Russia effectively vetoes all the Eastern European candidates, then the race is wide open and Clark becomes a viable candidate.
She’s certainly got the devoted support of her successor and texting buddy John Key, who’s on record as saying he’d lobby every leader of every country he knew to help her, and given the dressing gown diplomacy he displayed at the last APEC summit, that’s most of them.
And the globe trotting, glad handing we did to secure our seat on the UN Security Council, would also have put this blip on their radar screen. The council will make the final decision and the fact that we’re on it won’t do Clark any harm, even if the former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd puts up his hand.
His CV, collapsing the Labour Party a couple of years into his dysfunctional leadership, wouldn’t do much for his candidacy over Clark who fought off a leadership attempt, united her party and led if for nine years in Government.
This got me thinking about the political impact here of a Clark candidacy. It could be quite negative for Labour.
First of all there would be the implicit comparisons – The last Labour PM was so good, she is running for the top job at the UN, while the four leaders since Clark struggle to tie their shoelaces up some days.
And you’d have several months of images of Key going around the world, campaigning for Clark, looking like a bi-partisan statesman putting the interests of NZ ahead of partisan politics.
So if I was Andrew Little, I’d be on the hot line to Putin begging him to let through one of the Eastern European candidates!