We have all been greatly intrigued by the candidacy of Maxine McKew in the forthcoming Federal Election, standing against the toughest of the tough himself.
I was intrigued by how in announcing her candidature she refused to be drawn into the personality denigration of which politics is so often guilty.
The plan looks like an altogether more subtle opertaion than simple setting big gun against big gun.
By pulling an entirely out of left field candidate, McKew will make sure that in any election campaign attention will constantly focus on Howard's electorate of Bennelong. There is no doubt that a PM can probably not carry out the work of a local member with any sophistication for either (as the good book saith...)... he will love the one and despise the other or he will despise the one and love the other... So if nothing else there will be a constant attention to the electorate of Bennelong when Howard would no doubt prefer that he is judged solely on his role as PM.
The Liberal Party has also been masterly (and I use that gender oriented word advisedly) at getting the electorate to focus on emotive issues...we do not forget the Tampa. This has meant that they have been able to turn attention away from themselves. Ms McKew's presence will mean that we will be constantly drawn back to the microscopic view of Bennelong which is not what Howard can possibly want. It will considerably weaken what ever sensationalist diversionary tactics we have in store for us.
On top of all this she is is a quality candidate, we like her not just because she is gorgeous...and I am not being sexist in any way.,..but I like her because in the best tradition of ABC journalists she is dogged in pursuit of her prey, she is mentally acute. She laughs occasionally, and this probably means that she doesn't take herself too seriously (the flaw of the Latham's of this world). One does not imagine that she will be destroyed by failure to be elected, we are in for an interesting little ride