But Labor insiders tell VEXNEWS they see him as the most over-rated senior Labor figure in living memory.
They point to a recent High Court of Australia decision which invalidated Howard government measures that tightened up electoral enrolment. That meant that around 100,000 people whoâ€™d enrolled the week after the election was called will be allowed to vote. But VEXNEWS understands there are hundreds of thousands more excluded.
It wasnâ€™t Labor that ran the court case, it was the left-wing on-line ginger group GetUp! which is usually stridently anti-Labor except when they think their criticisms might elect the Liberals.
â€œGetUp! is Australiaâ€™s biggest circle jerk, cutting ads that no-one sees, preaching to its already feral left-wing choir of the disaffected and privileged,â€ one Labor moderate explained to VEXNEWS.
In an extraordinary spray, a senior observer paid out on Faulkner and vented some serious frustration felt at a high-level about the highly-rated senior minister who has been often considered the wise and calm voice of reason in an easily-panicked universe of excitable staffers and hangers-on:
â€œBut itâ€™s (Get Up) done a bloody good job in ensuring more Australians could enrol and itâ€™s really enough to make you wonder where the f*ck has this over-rated, pompous, know-all John Faulkner been? He was minister responsible for this for most of the life of the government and did nothing to ensure young people could enrol. This is not just about basic equity and democracy, thereâ€™s also a political dividend for Labor. And where was he? Chasing around backbenchers to put absurdly self-loathing disclosures on their Christmas cards and desperately trying to implement the ABC/Fairfax agenda of banning corporate and union donations to political parties.â€
If Gillard loses the election, it will be by a handful of votes in a handful of seats. Faulkner gets to ride around on the PMâ€™s plane and play elder statesman and play consiligiere when the truth is he might have single-handedly cost her victory by not reforming the enrolment laws. Heâ€™s all sizzle and no sausage, mate. Heâ€™s the most over-rated politician Iâ€™ve seen in Canberra. Thereâ€™s nothing like it. Heâ€™s got them all conned, the Gallery, caucus colleagues, PMO ass-clowns, they all think Faulks can turn Canberra tap water into a woody chardonnay.
The most noticeable thing Faulknerâ€™s been involved with in the campaign is debate preparation where he played Abbott in Gillardâ€™s rehearsals. Thatâ€™s quite appropriate when you think about the many hundreds of thousands of Labor voting and Labor-preferencing young Australians Faulknerâ€™s failings have caused not to be enrolled to vote. Loughnane should send him an honorary Liberal party membership ticket.
The best thing Gillard could do for future ALP campaigns is actually to throw John Faulkner out of her VIP flight at about 10,000 feet. Heâ€™s a f*cking disgrace and an oxygen thief. And yes you can quote me but no names, a manâ€™s gotta eat.â€