Fear and loathing on the campaign trail: Flawsome fail

August 25, 2013

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/david_hass/9590514818/

Slipping up with the shaver, and taking a selfie, is not flawsome. When Rudd began his second stint in the top job, one could have believed that his strategists had nailed it. They had composed as redemption story - the story of a man who had learnt from his previous shortcomings and who knew he simply had to atone for the future of his country. He had assumed the position of the underdog despite being the incumbent PM, and appeared to possess the capacity to regenerate a party that had been in tumult for too long.

Yet as time has persisted, like his counterpart, it appears that Rudd has forgotten that revealing his imperfections – on both a professional and personal level – is in fact one of the most powerful ways he can humanise himself and consequently, increase his relevance in one of the Nation’s biggest ever popularity contests.

Perhaps ironically, whilst Australia’s biggest race of the year has been in motion, it is the occurrences in another national competition that has best illustrated the harm that unflinching confidence can cause. So-delete this as James Hird rapidly approaches the hour of his judgment, only recently have we seen a slight shift in his approach from one of complete belligerence, to an approach which reveals some (albeit only a little) imperfection in his own conduct. This in itself may prove to be something of a saving grace, as showing some vulnerability can in itself be redemptive.

With two weeks left on the campaign trail, there’s no doubt that both Rudd and Abbott will throw some pretty big haymakers at each other. The reality is, for Rudd, part of the battle may be as much as the way he rolls with the punches, as being honest and conceding his imperfections may make the hits he lands on Tony all the more credible - and as such - devastating.