Around this time in the 2019 campaign, the confidence that was bubbling throughout the Labor camp burst out into full hubristic glory.
One leading daily posed the ALP team in chiaroscuro, looking one part Sopranos cast, one part corporate raiders. Bristling with purpose, they looked. The new crew. The mean machine. The none-too subtle message: Bill Shorten’s team is ready, ready to rule.
Meanwhile Chris Bowen’s Facebook page featured himself and four sober-suited colleagues in an impersonation of a high-end law firm: himself, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, a chin-stroking Shorten, Jim Chalmers and Penny Wong.
When the serious quintet’s big play went unstuck, one user commented: ”All dressed up and nowhere to go.”
Contrast all that with Campaign ’22. Yes, Albo has modelled some groovy threads to go with his trimmer physique. But the group photo shoot has gone the way of Shorten’s jibes about the big end of town. No more moody magnificence.
Labor candidates emphasise how rare it is for their party to win from opposition. The years it has happened since the war are cited like bingo numbers: 72, 83, 07. It’s the talk of the poker player holding a straight flush.