"I do not come to the leadership of the Liberal Party from a lifetime of privilege. I know what it is like to be very short of money..."
"I know what it is like to live in rented flats. For a time daddy and I had to rent a dingy penthouse in Double Bay..."
"Daddy even had to drive the Rolls Royce himself for a time when we couldn't get a chauffeur; good help can be hard to find..."
"The other boys at Sydney Grammar laughed at me when I drove my new MG to school; they all drove Porsches and Maseratis..."
Ok, this may be bending the truth just a little and Malcolm Turnbull may well not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He is however, a very rich man; Turnbull's wealth is estimated at $120 million. Turnbull is the quintessential Eastern Suburbs silvertail. He will always struggle against the perception that he is arrogant and out of touch with the so called 'battlers'.
Turnbull's gaffe on football further underlined this perception. Asked in a radio interview to nominate which football teams he supports, Mr Turnbull said: "I have to confess I vote for, I support, in Australian Rules the Roosters, who of course aren't in the Grand Final sorry the (Sydney) Swans". (The Eastern Suburbs Roosters of course play rugby league). This might seem an inconsequential mistake, but football is religion to the average battler.
Just as the Australian electorate will never elect anyone with the title 'Doctor' (ask John Hewson or Brendan Nelson; we respect them but just don't trust them) they are just as unlikely to elect someone with arch silvertail status. At least the Liberal party in electing Turnbull as leader is leaving little doubt as to which end of town they really represent.
"Alcopops? That is the sound you get when you open a bottle of vintage Veuve Clicquot, isn't it?..."
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Several commentators have stated that Sarah Palin won the vice presidential debate simply because she exceeded expectations. While Palin may not have committed anything like the excruciating gaffes she made in the interview with CBS's Katie Couric, her performance was anything but convincing. Others have said Palin won by being more 'likeable'. While her folksy language and mannerisms might endear her to some, anyone who can muster a few thoughts would surely dismiss her posturings as nothing more than cheap populism.
Palin managed to avoid making more monumental bluders with a novel strategy; she simply avoided the issues, and the questions in favour of well rehearsed campaign rhetoric. Joe Biden came across as approachable, human and credible. His detailed answers on foreign, domestic and economic policy gave a firm impression of an experienced statesman who knows what he is talking about and knows what he is doing.
Biden has a right to feel aggrieved by analysis which awards a win in the debate to Palin just because she made few mistakes. His was a solid and credible performance. Palin's performance did little to change the perception that she has recently established: she is a political airhead.