At some point John Howard went from being a vote-winner to vote-loser. There were hints in 1987 (federal election) and the double in 2007 (federal election and own seat).
His intervention in 2019 to save Tony Abbott in Warringah went wonky too. But now our second longest-serving PM revels in his status (to some Aussies) as a living reminder of better times. Well, it works for the Marcos family.
Howard’s old seat of Bennelong is in play for the first time since Labor’s Maxine McKew lost it in 2010 after one term. The loss of this stronghold would likely sink the Coalition government. Honest John to the rescue! And royal entertainment it has been. JH’s denunciation of ”anti-Liberal groupies” was probably the first use of the term ”groupie” since Led Zeppelin were around.
In 2007 Howard tried to nobble Barack Obama, saying al-Qaeda would be praying for his victory (presumably they were praying for Obama to kill Osama bin-Laden too). And now JH is trying to nobble Albanese by calling him a ‘‘left-wing inner-city bomb-thrower’’.
Some voters might wish that cautious Albo really was left wing and a ‘’bomb thrower’’ (metaphorically anyway). The good news for them is that Albanese has hinted that his caution is a clever ruse. ‘‘One of the things we are doing at this election is under-promising so we can over-deliver,” he told a media conference in North Sydney on Wednesday.