VEXNEWS nominates five reasons for his political death.
Hardheads in Queensland were aware of the perils of a Rudd premiership. As former departmental head of Premier and Cabinet and Chief of Staff, Rudd rolled out poor advice to the tragically short premiership of Wayne Goss. At the time legend has it that Rudd loved his reputation as Dr Death. Many banana benders blame Rudd for the loss because of the future PM’s judgment and style.
This carried into his leadership of the Federal Labor Party, especially when the GFC came around.Â Rudd saw an historic opportunity to crash through neo-liberalism in favour of a Keynesian stimulus package. The trouble was the package was too big and too narrowly focused on too few portfolios.
Then there was Pink Bats scheme that actually killed four workers â€¦. and it just rolled on and on.
Rudd the Outsider
Rudd never had real institutional support within the ALP and never loved in Queensland. After the Latham experiment â€“ which came a lot closer to power than the commentariat remember â€“ the parliamentary party went to Beazley â€“ whose polling number were very strong.
Federal Labor tired of twice-beaten Beazleyâ€™s losing ways the Caucus went with Rudd despite the kind of hesitations unkindly expressed in The Latham Diaries. Rudd, not being a machine man, seemed like an asset: a mild mannered professional, a smartie-pants who portrayed himself as a considered and earnest Christian socialist.
The Latham Diaries had more than a grain of truth in it.
Rudd, a Media Frankenstein
Kochie and Mel created a familiarity for millions of Australians sipping their tea and nibbling their crumpets on their way out the door to pay off their mortgages. They liked Rudd and Kochieâ€™s interviewing created the myth that Rudd was â€˜one of usâ€™.
The public has learnt the hard way through the Canberra Press Gallery that became angrier and angrier at what they say was shabby treatment from the PMOâ€™s aggressive young men.
Ruddâ€™s personal conduct with News Corp identities as high-ranking as Peter Blunden may have been fatal too; then Rudd broke the Fairfax heart who had been in denial about the PMâ€™s shortcomings when he delayed the ETS.
What the media provides, it taketh away.
Rudd just did not get the importance of electoral allowances and yielding appropriately to the backbench. The outsider in Rudd was losing them in private and caucus meetings. Aloof, arrogant, inaccessible.
Worse was his Cabinet style. The most successful PMs in recent times â€“ Hawke and Howard â€“ were chairmen of the board types. Ruddâ€™s behaviour included petulant tantrums and walk outs.
He was trying the patience of Cabinet ministers and backbenchers alike.
Sending pubescent Alister Jordan to canvass questions of loyalty towards the PM on the PMâ€™s behalf understandably riled Julia Gillard. Sending a boy on a statesmanâ€™s mission is insulting and cowardly.
Linking all these reasons is one theme: Rudd’s character.