The Dom Post Editorial observes:
It started with a Labour ambush in Auckland and continued with a robust but dignified television debate. Well, nearly – Helen Clark did feel compelled to tell John Key “you might be able to shout people down at home, but you can’t shout me down”. Clearly, Miss Clark was finding Mr Key a somewhat tougher opponent than his predecessor, Don Brash, who famously and, as it turned out, foolishly, held back from talking over Miss Clark in the 2005 debates because that was the gentlemanly thing to do.
And here is what is interesting. TGIF did an analysis of the debate. They found Helen Clark had 16 successful interjections against John Key and Key had only 13 in return. Also Clark spoke for a minute 30 longer over all. Most ineteresting was that the moderator and jorunalists asked three times as many “challenging” questions to Key or tried to cut him off as they did Clark.
So Clark just could not handle the fact someone was standing up to her.
But it didn’t really descend into a catfight till the prime minister discovered the political commentariat did not share her view that she had wiped the floor with her less-experienced opponent. Miss Clark, brimming with the ego and self-esteem that fuel the best of politicians, is convinced her problem was not that Mr Key had done well.
Yes we really saw the nasty side come out. And we see her inability to concede weakness again today in response to the poll results:
Miss Clark made it clear she did not believe the result.
“That doesn’t reflect the trend in other recent polls,” she said.
Interestingly it is an almost identical result to the poll immediately before it.
But more to the point look at the response from the two Leaders when they get a bad poll result. John Key got last week a poll result showing the lead had fallen to 3%. He did not attack the polling company, insist it must be wrong. He merely said that he had always said the polls would move around a lot during the campaign. While Clark constantly attacks any result she does not like.
And meanwhile Clark has gone from offering “professional commentary” on the election debate to professional commentary on John Key’s campaign. If only she would answer questions on where the money is coming from for all these promises she is making.