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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kevin Rudd Meets the People

Kevin Rudd was very entertaining on Q and A last week when he admitted he stuffed up as PM. "Everyone stuffs up, the key thing is to learn things and I've tried to do that" he said. He admitted he was wrong to put the ETS on hold - something we already knew, which cost the Labor Party around a million votes. He also said that there were 'some folk' who wanted to dump the ETS completely but he wouldn't say who and everyone thought is was Julia Gillard. To the Prime Minister's credit, when asked about Rudd's admission to a serious error on national television, she gave him her total support. Tony Abbott would have loved a formal rebuke from Julia to prove that a serious division existed within the government, but it didnt happen.

He plans to visit electorates across the country and there is no doubt he's very popular - something you just can't fake. The day after appearing on Q and A, we went to Hurstville, got out of his car and started introducing himself to strangers. He was overwhelmed by the people who responded with warm smiles, friendly handshakes and requests for a photo. "Bellissimo," he said to an Italian woman; "Konichiwa," he greeted another and soon got the opportunity to speak Mandarin which delighted shoppers. I wonder how this almost rock-star status is going down with Cabinet and ALP caucus.

Some think he's planning another shot at the top job but he denies this. "You know something? I am very, very happy being the Foreign Minister of Australia. I've got time to do stuff now that I didn't have before. The key thing, though, is to get on with making a difference to the things that matter for them. And I can do that in practical ways where I am now."

So why doesn't everyone believe him?