Tony Abbott is not someone I describe as likeable. Despite manifestly having a social conscience and the capacity for empathy, as an individual what is more frequently on show is the pugalist. The scrappy fighter with the Oxford Blue that makes exercise look like something from a Rocky movie is the image he mostly portrays.
It is this that is "admirable", because, just like his physical pursuits, it is something I could not achieve.
How he can stare into the cameras day after day running out his latest cute metaphor, how he can run the line repeatedly that a Government that has the world's praise for handling the GFC is "incompetent", and how he can hold contradictory simultaneous thoughts at the same time.
Perhaps most admirable is his recently found skill to look a goose by NOT answering questions because he knows that any answer he gives merely makes him look more of a goose.
The rant today was inspired by Mr Abbott's call for Craig Thomson to be removed as the chair the HoR economics committee, saying it was;
very hard for someone who can't answer questions about his own credit card to credibly ask questions of the governor of the Reserve Bank about the nation's credit card.
The statement suggests that Mr Abbott's own "credibility" is beyond question. And so perhaps we find the real mid-term campaign that the ALP should mount, on Mr Abbott's credibility not his policy.
This is a campaign that should not be run by press release or in Prime Ministerial statements - see my earlier blog post on referring to the coalition. But it should be run by the ALP secretariat.
It also shouldn't use much of their (depleted) resources by using real TV advertisments. It should use YouTube.
And the target should be Mr Abbott's credibility. You start (or end) EACH piece with the Tony Abbott statement about not believing what he says. Add to it John Howard talking about core and non-core promises.
You then run separate clips on Mr Abbott's inconsistencies. 1. Does he or does he not believe in climate change. 2. Run his current non-belief together with his direct action policy. 3. Repeat the Jones interview on coal seam gas and the non-answers.
It sounds terrible when I say it like this, but Mr Abbott can be turned into an object of derision for his own words, and satire needs to play no part in it.
And to repeat this should be a party secretariat campaign, the PM should act as if Mr Abbott is irrelevant.
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est