Is Kevin Rudd turning into a scary clown?

Kevin Rudd worked very hard to position himself as a regular guy, happy among the folks, trading jokes and bonhomie. A bit of a policy wonk as well, but not too much of that in public.

The “regular guy” image was worth a surge of primary votes but when the surge stalled the man who would be king has to face the grim reality of fighting against the tide rather than swimming with it. He has to demonstrate the ticker of a man who can win from behind, unlike the frontrunner of 2007 who was never under any threat in the final campaign.

A few more bad days and the PM could find himself struggling to be taken seriously. The copycat Northern development plan did not impress, nor did the confusion about the size of the tax reduction. He has referred issues to colleagues, stopped talking about the boats, does not dare talk about the state of the economy and suddenly stopped chasing Tony Abbott over hill and dale to debate him, “any time, any place”. How much will it take for the public perception of the PM to shift from a hyperactive and avuncular media hound into a scary clown.

Even the people who are supposed to like clowns—children—supposedly don’t. In 2008, an English survey of 250 children between the ages of four and 16 found that most of the children disliked and even feared images of clowns. A child psychologist declared, “Very few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don’t look funny, they just look odd.”

But most clowns aren’t trying to be odd. They’re trying to be silly and sweet, fun personified. So the question is, when did the clown, supposedly a jolly figure of innocuous, kid-friendly entertainment, become so weighed down by fear and sadness? When did clowns become so dark?

Will the PM become weighed down by fear and sadness? Will unrestrained children run away when they see him coming?

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50 Responses to Is Kevin Rudd turning into a scary clown?

  1. brc

    If the school visits continue, I predict we are only days from a logged sandwich.

  2. Do kids still take an apple for recess?

  3. Infidel Tiger

    It’s not coulrophobia. As that sweet young boy said, we just don’t like the c#%!.

  4. Ant

    Over in the US they’re close to sending a certain rodeo clown off to the gulag for re-education.

    Are there dots here waiting to be connected?

  5. mareeS

    The thing is: Mothers, fathers, grannies, delivery people, basically anyone not a teaching staff member, who enters the gate of a school has to have filled out a blue form for a police check in order to do canteen, reading, sports assistance etc.

    How is it that people like Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd/name your assorted politician can walk into any primary or infants school with a film crew, place their arms around children, film children, have those children as props on national television, without any vetting of the entourage?

    Last I heard, it is illegal for parents to take photos of their children at school events including sports days and concerts, because they may be potential paedophile material, yet it’s OK for infants and primary children to be pimped for political purposes.

    Clowns are creepy, but politicians are creepier.

  6. mareeS

    PS, I meant to add that schools should be closed environments during the classroom hours, with only parents, children and staff allowed entry, now that the BER has generously provided 3m fence enclosures at enormous expense.

  7. Annie A

    Some of the words to the above post – Lyrics – may be apt? … “Don’t you love a farce?”…” Losing my timing this late in my career” …”Making my entrance again with my usual flair”… Hmmm…perhaps some parallels could be made to Mr Rudd? What do you think?

  8. Hasbeen

    I have no idea about clowns, but Ruddy has scared the hell out of me from the first time I saw him taking his tilt at Beasley.

  9. perhaps some parallels could be made to Mr Rudd? What do you think?

    Change the last line to “Don’t bother, I’m here,” and I think you’ve got it.

    Kevin Rudd worked very hard to position himself as a regular guy, happy among the folks, trading jokes and bonhomie.

    For all that positioning, it’d fallen apart more than a little even in the first term; there were examples to show that he didn’t really know how to relate to ordinary people in difficult or tragic circumstances even before the mining tax debacle and the abrupt termination of his first Prime Ministry. He wasn’t Bob Hawke and never had been.

    unlike the frontrunner of 2007 who was never under any threat in the final campaign.

    Never really under threat at all in 2007; he was handled so softly by the media that he’d have had to rape newborn kittens on the floor of Parliament to get a bad rap.

    The copycat Northern development plan did not impress

    It’s bad enough when you plagiarise; it’s even worse when your plagiarised effort is WORSE than what the other guy came up with, and worst of all when you (or your underlings and supporters) have already publicly dismissed the other guy’s work as madness. It’s obvious he was plagiarising and throwing out there on the fly in an effort to seem bold, but surely he must have known how transparent it would seem. He really thought he could get away with a poorly thought-out duplicate of an idea which has long been known as the intellectual property of the LNP? After the open cheating at the debate, he still thought that was a good idea?

    That 57:43 Morgan poll must have really rattled him.

    nor did the confusion about the size of the tax reduction

    How much will Little Gracie’s next three birthday cakes cost, Mr Prime Minister? Including Carbon inputs, naturally.

    He has referred issues to colleagues

    To a certain extent there are times and places when one should do this, but the way he did it did him no favours, nor should it have done.

    stopped talking about the boats

    Yeah, that solution worked out really well, didn’t it?

    does not dare talk about the state of the economy

    That’s sort of like a rapist talking about what he did to his victim in the presence of her shotgun-armed bikie gang father.

    and suddenly stopped chasing Tony Abbott over hill and dale to debate him, “any time, any place”

    “Come back here, I’ll bite yer legs off!” He’s not even in Black Knight territory any more. Appalling.

    How much will it take for the public perception of the PM to shift from a hyperactive and avuncular media hound into a scary clown?

    One more schoolyard gaffe will do the trick, especially if it’s with a little girl. That will send the ALP’s polls downhill like a dropped bomb. Otherwise he becomes merely an object of ridicule. But that could be just as destructive, especially since upsets to his ego tend to lead him into unforced errors.

    Will the PM become weighed down by fear and sadness?

    Yes.

    Will unrestrained children run away when they see him coming?

    I don’t think we’ll get there unless he does something truly thoughtless on the preteen campaign trail. After the election, possibly yes – the glamour will be gone, and only the creepy, hollow shell will remain. If it happens beforehand, he’s (electorally) a dead man walking.

  10. egg_

    Sideshow Bob‘ is one of my nicknames for Mr NPD.

  11. Fisky

    I think we’ll see more manic activity from Rudd, and yes he will start to frighten people, including small children.

  12. caveman

    Rudd is so emancipated in the youth , looks so disingenuous . A scarey clown peddling pedo politics.
    I dont think his ego could stand the complete smacking hes heading for , so would not be surprised to see him bail before the election citing a rare medical problem.

  13. Oh come on

    This is popcorn time, folks. Rudd kicked this whole thing off because he was convinced that only he could save the ALP from catastrophic defeat. And not just defeat – he’s in it because he was certain he could win it due to his unshakeable faith in his ability. Now, it’s becoming increasingly clearer to him that he lacks the capacity to win the next election for the ALP. This must be a deeply, deeply psychologically traumatic period for him. Expect increasingly erratic behaviour. His elevated estimation of his self worth, which couldn’t possibly deliver anything but ultimate victory, is going to keep colliding with the fact that most others think he sucks.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to him after he loses the next election.

  14. A scarey clown peddling pedo politics.

    I’d be very careful about pushing that much further if I were you – it’s treading the boundaries of libel. I think at this stage it’s that school visits are the least psychologically threatening place for him to be, simply because he’s not required to convince anyone there to vote for him. It’s a safe place for his ego to hide, but OTOH it takes precious time away from where he should be and what he should be doing, which is canvassing for votes in marginal electorates. Then again, his handlers may be doing their utmost at the moment to keep him away from places where people will ask him awkward questions on some sort of record.

    Rudd kicked this whole thing off because he was convinced that only he could save the ALP from catastrophic defeat.

    And in that he was right. Trouble was, as you’ve said, hubris told him he could win. So instead of just salvaging a respectable loss from the disaster, he decided to risk it all and go for the victory. No. Foolish mistake. IMO he had two possible choices – go to an election immediately, offering an ironclad written guarantee to return to Howard’s Pacific Solution and scrap the Carbon Tax if returned (or to stand by and let the Libs do both if he lost, giving them the necessary Senate votes to bypass the Greens), or – if he wanted to delay and swan about for a bit – stay in power long enough to reconvene Parliament and do both himself as an act of good faith, then call the election and let the chips fall where they may. He might then have been remembered as a Prime Minister who had the sense to undo the two worst mistakes he had helped bring about, and might have exited politics with something positive to his name.

    It’s too late for that now. He has shown himself, on current form, to be a liar, a cheat and a plagiarist, not to mention the biggest ego since whenever (remember that even Red Kerry cut away from his victory speech in his own electorate in 2010).

    I hope this is an absolute wipeout. And if he does keep his seat, he’s got to know the Australian people will think very little of him if he dummy-spits and walks away from it Gareth Evans-style.

  15. Brett

    ‘Sideshow Bob‘ is one of my nicknames for Mr NPD.

    It’s just like watching the Cape Fear parody episode; where Sideshow Bob is dragged under by the sinking riverboat.

  16. south

    So what’s Ruddy going to do with himself after the inevitable happens in September and he realizes he’ll have to face the world as Australia’s ex-PM once again? The ALP are going to absolutely rip him to shreds once he’s no longer of use to them and his buddies in the lefty media will find someone new to prop up against Tony Abbott. Let’s face it, without the Prime Ministership or a party to blackmail into letting him lead it, Rudd is a nobody.

  17. entropy

    Given Therese is loaded i wouldn’t worry about him in forced retirement. You never know, he might take up the grey nomad lifestyle. Maybe a winnebago.

  18. Jazza

    Wonder if he will still get the overseas “buddy” welcomes when he’s just the ex Prime Minister TWICE kicked out of office?

  19. Tapdog

    Is Bill Shorten the heir apparent?

  20. manalive

    So what’s Ruddy going to do with himself after the inevitable happens in September …

    A late afternoon game show host — he’d be perfect.

  21. Token

    He has to demonstrate the ticker of a man who can win from behind, unlike the frontrunner of 2007 who was never under any threat in the final campaign.

    Are any of the Cats who health professionals provide advice on whether it is possible for a person who has returned to work from serious heart surgery to work at the rate Rudd does?

    The man looks fatigued and is making the judgement calls of someone who is.

  22. Mike of Marion

    Perhaps the ALP is praying for a Poll Bounce

    A death of a PM while in office!!

  23. Country Liberal

    Voters should be concerned about this clown’s physical health, not just his mental health.

    He’s overweight and very pasty looking. (Abbott’s health is obvious.)

    If Labor are so keen on adopting American political values why not public health reports on candidates?

    We can be sure they would demand it if their man was fit.

  24. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Perturbed, OCO – well done, five stars each.

  25. Toiling Mass

    “…he’d have had to rape newborn kittens on the floor of Parliament to get a bad rap.”

    Oh, I don’t know. I can imagine newspapers declaring ‘Rudd is Animal Lover’.

    I think Rudd wanted the election to be later and was pushed to call it sooner. As things become increasingly pear shaped Rudd will cleave to the conceit that it was the Labor Party’s fault and that, if left to him, he would have one. We know Rudd oozes hostility and vengefulness like a slug oozes mucus.

    The recriminations after the loss, with each member of the ALP (including the newly officially friendless Rudd) all trying to distance themselves from the event as fast as their lying tongues can carry them will make the Big Bang look like a party-popper.

  26. Rudd is a man who does much but achieves little for the effort – and what he “achieves” requires him to play catch-up and patch-up, compounding the problem even more. Even a Tony Abbott in his shoes would be worn out by this self-imposed labour of Sisyphus.

  27. Given Therese is loaded i wouldn’t worry about him in forced retirement. You never know, he might take up the grey nomad lifestyle. Maybe a winnebago.

    (Maybe an endless winnebago trip around North Western Xinxiang Province)

  28. Toiling Mass

    Sorry, “…would have won“.

  29. philip j. fry

    Our office, engineers, is running a book on when Rudd will go feral/implode, both .. i.e. have a serious event that stops everything dead and makes the Labor Party realise, it’s over and the benefits and good spots at the trough, are gone.

    Pick a date between now and the election .. the last week is getting pretty full full so you have to actually pick not just a day, but the hour of the day. The event is not counted if he just loses his temper, he has to do a Latham, and exit the scene, preferably with as much drama as a 14 year old girl being told she has to clean her room OR ELSE!

    A second book is on what will Rudd do once the explosive event occurs, will he:
    1. Retire to have Therese take the reins (haha)
    2. Publish a book, ghosted by Uncle Laurie, and tip sewerage on all those close to him.
    3. Go on a road tour poisoning every well he can find for Labor.
    4. Be found hog tied at the side of a country road with clear signs of Senior Labor Former Union Heavyweight persuasive technique injuries, gibbering about his life entitlement to be PM.
    5. Turn up at UN HQ in NYC demanding his paid up role to be Sec Gen?
    6. Start a small business, and campaign against unfair government imposts (sorry, that’s justice and unlikely, Jim)

    We keep adding to this one .. can’t quite find an end point since the man is such a clown, the opportunities are boundless.

  30. Rafe

    A week before the debate Andrew Bolt reported that Rudd was looking weak, tired and unhealthy. He was told to slow down and he took a day out to prepare for the debate, so the policy wonk emerged, with nothing to take his mind off the event and its importance (while Tony Abbott was loading up with endorphins) he over-prepared and wrote notes for his presentation. At the lectern he was nervous and unconvincing when he needed to be strong, direct and Prime Ministerial

    And it just got worse every day from there, physically , mentally and in the polls. People are even talking about the PM being “subbed off” as they say in the AFL, but who would be prepared to come off the bench at this stage of the game?

    Interesting report on the nerve centres of the two campaigns.

  31. Bigpeteoz

    How scary, poor clowns being linked to KRudd, will they ever live it down? Seriously, KRudd is a clown of the highest order, remember Uncle Arthur (Glenn Robbins), he reminds me of KRudd, going around trying to please the kiddies with bad jokes.

  32. Ubique

    Labor and the ABC thought it was getting a recycled Kevin 07. But “recycled” in Kevni’s case doesn’t mean renewed. It means flyblown compost.

  33. Mr Skeletor

    Rudds biggest problem is he is shit. Always has been.

    What did this ‘political genius’ ever achieve? He beat a tired and full of Hubris Liberal Party who fucked up industrial relations and basically ate themselves alive (the whole Howard vs Costello debarcle.) Big fucking deal, he won an election because he spoke mandarin, looked good on Sunrise and the Liberals fucked themselves over.

    Beyond that what has he done? Nothing. The media keep talking about him being a “brilliant politician”. Really, where? They said the same thing about Gillard, another dud. The media don’t know shit from clay.

    “Rudd should have done this, Rudd should have done that.” What Rudd should have done was left politics in 2010, because he is going to get smashed and smashed hard (harder than the current polls/betting market are saying) but THAT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN. No matter what he did or when he went to the polls, it was always going to be a blood bath. He could never save the furniture, that was just a media myth.

  34. Robbo

    The answer to all those questions is YES. By the way what does Hammy have to say about how things are going over there on his side of the fence?

  35. Peter Beattie looked like Pennywise. Rudd could be Pennywise’s evil sidekick, Poundfoolish.

  36. Anne

    … health professionals provide advice on whether it is possible for a person who has returned to work from serious heart surgery to work at the rate Rudd does?

    I was talking to a heart surgeon friend the other day who suggested he may be a bit “knocked off” post open heart surgery.

    Frankly, I think his incompetence and the mosaic of personality disorders is enough to explain his current, chaotic bewilderment.

    PS. “Knocked off” – the medical term for neurological deficit.

  37. egg_

    And in that he was right. Trouble was, as you’ve said, hubris told him he could win. So instead of just salvaging a respectable loss from the disaster, he decided to risk it all and go for the victory. No. Foolish mistake. IMO he had two possible choices

    Leopards and spots, his condition means he will repeat this behaviour again and again, as presumably he did as Dr Death and before that.

    Rudd is a man who does much but achieves little for the effort – and what he “achieves” requires him to play catch-up and patch-up, compounding the problem even more. Even a Tony Abbott in his shoes would be worn out by this self-imposed labour of Sisyphus.

    You’ve nailed him again, from previous, I worked with someone just like this guy and Rafe’s scary clown analogy (Sideshow Bob) is very apt – incompetent but very dangerous in an organisation – just look at what he’s done to Labor – ‘ruling the ruins’ per M. Latham.

    Glad to see the ‘retired injured’ meme is taking off, can’t see him making it to the election ‘posts’.

  38. egg_

    What did this ‘political genius’ ever achieve? He beat a tired and full of Hubris Liberal Party who fucked up industrial relations and basically ate themselves alive (the whole Howard vs Costello debarcle.)

    The meeja foisted him upon us, it’s pretty clear if you check the huge ramp in sinc’s 2007 betting odds graphs.

  39. cuckoo

    A late afternoon game show host — he’d be perfect.

    I think not. A game show host has to have – or be able to convincingly simulate – affability and good-humour. Actually, though, Rudd might fit in on that bizarre SBS ‘game’ show Letters and numbers. Apart from its razzle-dazzle name, this show is basically just like watching someone doing a sudoku puzzle while they talk to themself.

  40. Lucie

    LOL, Cuckoo, I kinda like that show. Like watching the girl do the maths solutions.

  41. candy

    Like watching the girl do the maths solutions.

    She’s tremendous, isn’t she. What a brain for numbers.

    Actually KRudd would do great as a game show host, I can just see him calling out “Come on Down” or perhaps Zip on Down.

  42. YT

    What do you mean by turning into a scary clown?

  43. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    I think the question of what Rimmer does after the Australian electorate bitch-slaps his ego after the election is pretty clear, in fact.

    I believe he has applied for this job.

  44. YT, you win the Gold Star Award for the day. Hands down.

  45. YT

    *Blushes* Aww thanks Phillipa.

  46. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Last I heard, it is illegal for parents to take photos of their children at school events including sports days and concerts, because they may be potential paedophile material, yet it’s OK for infants and primary children to be pimped for political purposes.

    It’s insanse, MareeS. When you enrol your child you have to sign a waiver to either allow your child to be photographed or not. For general purposes, such as the newsletters, for the local rag, or special occasions like school plays.

    My girl was in an eistedfodd thing a couple of years back held at Monash Uni, and on the program was the injunction of no photos or recording.

    I tend to disallow photos of my child given my anti-jihadi predilections. The last thing I need is a note from the school querying a photo of my girl with someone like Robert Spencer or Mark Durie.

  47. nilk, Iron Bogan

    As to the question of when clowns became less funny and more scary? That’s easy. As we have become more politically correct and diversely sensitive, the children and yoof of today just don’t understand them.

    They spend their days in schools getting harangued about not bullying, being respectful, no name-calling and on and on.

    I’ve heard some classics from the boy in Grade 3 or 4 complaining about being offended because he was told he was annoying, to the endless complaints from my girl about other children telling her she’s not allowed to play on the monkeybars because she might get hurt.

    I shi’ite you not.

    No peanut butter sangas for lunch at all because some kids might have peanut allergies, no nicknames because they are rude and hurt feelings.

    Seriously, there is no joy in primary school.

    I am so glad I’m the other side of 40. Once upon a time it was the wrong side, but given the miasma of pc dreck our children have to wade through, I wouldn’t want to be 20 again.

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