Tony Abbott has made some front pages today for a cutting remark in last night’s debate with Kevin Rudd that had plenty of onlookers thinking the Opposition Leader had dropped his guard.
The Prime Minister’s much improved performance at The People’s Forum debate seems to have got him over the line – on Twitter at least – but it was boosted at the time by Mr Abbott at one stage turning on him in a heated moment.
“Does this guy ever shut up?” he asked the crowd.
Some laughter, mostly a bit nervous.
Was it rehearsed? Was it Abbott genuinely losing his cool?
Regardless, it was enough to make front page news in some media outlets this morning.
Labor supporters and lefties hailed it as “rude” and a Rudd victory.
“Abbott asked for it,” The Guardian correspondent Gabrielle Chan wrote. “And the nerdy kid gave it to him.”
If you were in the Abbott camp, it was something that simply needed to be said.
Andrew Bolt came around: “I thought it initially a negative, but plenty of people say it was the cut through line of the night.”
In the heat of the moment, it looked like the nerdy kid had trolled the bully out of the boxer. In public, just where Rudd wanted him to be seen.
“It was interesting for a moment to see him snap and see the real Tony Abbott,” Finance Minister Penny Wong told a radio audience this morning.
But this isn’t Napoleon Dynamite and there’s enough positive feedback doing the rounds this morning that Team Abbott could justifiably welcome their leader’s “gaffe” as something of a lucky strike.
Because maybe, shockingly, the Real Tony Abbott represents Australians Against Smartarses.
And in this country, that’s a demographic that can’t be ignored.
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