The formidable Gillard

Being in Aussie has meant I’ve been able to see pretty much non stop coverage of the Gillard coup, which is much better than just seeing the highlights at 6 pm.

I was especially interested in Gillard’s press conference. Her performance can only be described as stellar. I’m one of those people who is always critically appraising speakers – often thinking to myself (or saying so to people with me) how an answer could have been made better.

I could not find a single fault with Gillard. Her answers, her tone, were all near perfect. She communicated her values and made it about Australia, not about her. I’ll give a couple of examples.

She was asked how did it feel to be Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Now Helen Clark (whom Gillard has some qualities in common with) had a burning life long ambition to be NZ’s first female Prime Minister. Everyone knew this. And she hated the fact Jenny Shipley bet her to it, so settled for New Zealand’s first “elected” female Prime Minister.

Gillard’s first response was a great joke – how she was also the first redhead to be Prime Minister and people can decide for themselves which was more unlikely.

But then she said that she didn’t enter politics to hit her head on any glass ceilings, but instead wants to keep her feet firmly on the ground.

Now that was superb. Cynically I wondered how many times and for how many months had she practised it. For she communicated that it wasn’t about her, it wasn’t about identity politics, it was about Australia.

Andrew Bolt also reviewed her press conference, and gives it a 9/10.

Gillard will be a far more formidable opponent to Tony Abbott, than Kevin Rudd was. That does not mean of course that she will automatically win.

There does appear to be some resentment over the method of her succession. Overnight online polls all showed people preferred Abbott over Gillard. However they are online polls and you can’t place reliance on them.

In a few days we’ll get the 1st set of phone polls. I’d ignore them also. What I will be looking at is the second set of polls in around three or four weeks time. That will give a better indication of what the change means to how people may vote.

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