Saturday, February 26, 2011

Going Out In Style

One guest who hit the red carpet at last week's world launch of the new musical Dr Zhivago-A Musical was the American born and accented New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally.

 Immaculately dressed, tall and elegant Keneally is one politician the camera does not do justice. She is extraordinarily beautiful and charismatic in the flesh, And that is one reason that despite the unpopularity of State Labor, Keneally has spent the last year visiting every electorate in the state to press the flesh.

As the Shuttle accurately predicted 6 months beforehand, Kristina was elected by the Labor Caucus as Premier in December 2009. Although she has become highly popular in the top job, that popularity isn't translating into percentage points for her ruling Labor Party which is expected to be defeated at the polls in 5 weeks time although the rumoured Coalition landslide is highly unlikely. While Labor languishes in the polls at anything from 23 to 27 %, Kristina stills comes in at just under 50%.

At a televised election debate with Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell this week the audience overwhelmingly declared the unflappable Keneally the winner by far.

 A party in power for 13 years was bound to suffer from the tiredness factor and although media speculation at the time was that it would be Keneally's role to stench the flow of blood from the coming defeat. there have been more concrete plans in the wings.

Born in Las Vegas and brought up in Colorado, Keneally cut her political teeth as an intern for the US Democratic party working for the Colorado Governor. When she emigrated to Australia with her Aussie husband in 1998 she joined the Labor Party and after being elected to the state seat of Heffron in 2003, her rise has been meteoric albeit quietly in the wings. Those granite jawed men who run the party had their eyes on Keneally from day one and marked her out as leadership material.

Brought into Cabinet on the strength of Emily's List that promotes greater numbers of female politicians, Keneally joins the growing list of Labor Party women who are going places.

Now with Julia Gillard as PM , Quentin Bryce as Governor General, a state Governor in Marie Bashir and with QLD premier Anna Bligh's approval rating soaring 35 points since her handling of  the flood catastrophe, when Kristina Keneally is re-elected to her seat at the end of March it will be for a short time.

When the country goes to the polls in the next general election in 2013, expect Kristina Keneally to be standing side by side with Julia Gillard as a star candidate.

When have we ever been wrong ?