Friday, December 14, 2007

McKew not a Howard-hater

Almost three weeks after the federal election, Maxine McKew has finally claimed victory in Bennelong over the vanquished John Howard.

Refreshingly, McKew chose not to run a negative campaign for the seat:

McKew was anxious from the start not to align herself with “Howard haters”.

She politely declined the assistance of the “Not Happy, John” squad, for instance.

“‘Not happy, John’ did not begin to sum up my views of the neglect of the Howard government. It was negative. It was also a protest campaign,” she says.

“I wanted to be very careful that I was dealing with people who weren’t driven simply by a kind of vicious animus towards Mr Howard; I find that quite destructive, to tell you the truth.” Instead, she developed a pitch of her own.

“I went after Liberal voters. I knew I could only win them over if I could present them with a better set of arguments. I knew I had to present a positive case.”

Yep, McKew is arguably no Howard-hater. But she’s quite possibly a Kevin-cuddler:

“I could not have done what I’ve done in Bennelong without the clarity of the leadership that Kevin’s provided.”

Meanwhile this blogger is still adjusting to our country’s brave new federal politics scene. Every time I see a headline referring to “the PM”, I still think it’s referring to Mr Howard. Pinch me...

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