Trotter on Key

Chris Trotter writes:

UNDERESTIMATING JOHN  is a serious mistake. Helen Clark did it in 2008, and knocked her out of the ring. He did the same to last night.

When is the going to come to terms with the fact that John is National’s toughest, smartest and most dangerous leader – ever? Defeating “The Candidate from Central Casting” was never going to be easy, but our consistent failure to grasp the brute reality of Key’s clear superiority – when compared to just about every politician the Opposition can throw at him – is turning his defeat into a near impossibility.

Defeat is far from impossible. In theory a Labour/Greens/NZ First/Maori/Mana combination is within striking distance of governing.

However I do agree that many on the left under-estimate constantly. They forget his performance vs Cullen in 2005, Clark in 2008 and Goff in 2011 – each a 30 year veteran of Parliament.

We are, after all, talking about a politician whose popularity seldom dips below 40 percent in the Preferred ratings. We are looking at a National Government which, in 2011 increased its share of the Party Vote to an unprecedented 47.3 percent. And that was three years after it had been elected with an MMP record-breaking 44.9 percent. Why don’t we “get” how extraordinary this guy is? Since when does a prime minister’s (let alone a government’s) honeymoon last five years?! 

Simply because it is not a honeymoon. The actual honeymoon lasted around nine months.

Think about the televised encounter between John and on last night’s Campbell Live (Wednesday, 14 August 2013) and then consider the ’s tactics in the light of the following observations about political debate:

“This is the very first condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of propaganda: a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with … When they see an uncompromising onslaught against an adversary, the people have at all times taken this as proof that right is on the side of the aggressor; but if the aggressor should go only halfway and fail to push home his success … the people will look upon this as a sign that he is uncertain of the justice of his own cause.”

The source of these observations? Mein Kampf – by Adolf Hitler.

Another politician who was seriously underestimated by his enemies.

Chris often takes the hyperbole a step too far. In this case, it is several steps too far.

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