Whether it’s Kim Beazley or Kevin Rudd who emerges victorious from the Labor caucus this morning, Mr Rudd has made a big mistake by challenging for the leadership at this point in time, so close to the next federal election. Labor looks just as divided as ever, and Kevin Rudd and his “running mate”, Julia Gillard, look immature and impatient. Kevin would have done well to stand firmly behind Kim Beazley, bide his time, wait for Labor to lose the next election, and then step into the leadership role looking far less blood-thirsty. Mr Rudd would appear more mature, and the Labor party less fractured. This more patient approach would also have allowed him to give the federal Labor party the big shake-up that it so badly needs. There is not enough time between now and the election to begin that kind of operation. Sure Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard can choose a new-look front bench, but everyone knows that Labor’s problems run far deeper than that.
I’m not sure I dig this “new style of leadership” that Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard seem to be proposing. Since they announced that they’ll be challenging Mr Beazley and Ms Macklin, the pair have not appeared on TV as individuals (at least, not that I’ve seen); it’s like they’re joined at the hip. It’s quite unnatural and it’s beginning to freak me out!