The fact that Brian Edwards now considers Shearer unsuitable for the public communication aspects of the leadership should ring alarm bells. He needs media training — desperately needs it — and Edwards is probably the only person able and qualified to do the job in the relatively short timeframe available.
Danyl reckons Edwards approached Shearer, who declined his services. I have no idea what this is based on, if anything, but if true it would suggest a lack of judgement on Shearer’s part that should raise very serious concerns.
It also seems like Cunliffe, to borrow some sporting terminology, wants it more. He’s hustled better. Cunliffe and his presumptive deputy Nanaia Mahuta have responded with alacrity to questions (some of which are quite unkind) on Red Alert — Cunliffe was answering questions until 1o’clock this morning, and then back into it early; Shearer hasn’t responded yet.
Anyway, I don’t know if this will sink the bid, but my view is it probably should, or at least cause it to ride lower in the water. More to come, I’m sure.
Callingham & Edwards have made no approach to David Shearer re media training. Our normal practice is to wait to be asked.
Thanks for confirming that, Brian.
It doesn’t surprise me that Brian Edwards has not approached Shearer as he confirms but it does surprise me that Edwards was not approached. Shearer needs help and Goff under Brian’s tutelage improved massively.
John Key was asked early in his leadership to define wealth and handled the question very well saying something along the the lines you were rich if you didn’t have to worry about paying the next bill and had the ability to help out family if they came unstuck. It isn’t a bad definition and to a large degree takes his wealth out of the argument.
( Incidental Brian if I worked for you I would have been on the phone promoting your services a few minutes after he announced his candidacy but then I am from the really dark side of media not PR but advertising ).
Shearer’s answered some questions now, btw.
Yes, and pretty well too.
I am curious about the sense of “wants it more”, by my rough calculations this is probably the only chance either of them have.
If we imagine Labour wins in 2014 and serves two terms (to 2020) and then National wins and serves two terms (to 2026), the Labour PM after the victor this time around is PM from 2026 til 2032 at least. If there are any three term governments it’s even longer.
Cunliffe is the younger of the two and that would make him 63-69 – which isn’t really a go-er.
So, for either of them to get another shot at PM Labour has to lose in 2014 or they have to willing to roll a governing Labour PM.
BTW, the same rough math holds for Andrew Little (only two years younger than Cunliffe), unless Labour loses in 2014 or he is willing to roll a Labour PM for the job, he will never be Prime Minister.
I think his answers were generally pretty good, too, but he’s beginning to sound platitudinous now that I’ve heard him say those things a few times. I’m interested in the sort of concrete actions he might take to effect change, not as much in his diagnosis of the problem.
One negative: He responded with the story about the lady coming in hungry to his electorate office “a couple of days ago”, which is a good story but I’ve heard/read him use elsewhere too.
I’m not going to try teaching Edwards his job (and one he’s been a great success at for a long time), but when it comes to “public communication” Cunliffe has some question marks over him as well.
After all, it was hardly a PR triumph when he appeared on Radio Live to talk up Labour’s policy costings release after the Press debate debacle, and ended up over-sharing about the ****ability of Judith Collins.
the ****ability of Judith Collins.
Oh rah-ther. Beastly behaviour to a lady of breeding. If only these pinko rotters could confine themselves to berating sluts for breeding for a business like our own fine boy, eh what? Pip pip old man, toodles.
People say Cunliffe is the better performer on T.V. I am not so sure. My 23 year old party girl flatmate doesn’t even know who the prime minister is. She was watching the news with me last night when the report of the Auckland meeting came on. She took one look at Cunliffe and, not even knowing who he was was, declared him a “typical looking politician”, as a pejorative. Shearer was next on screen. She asked me if he was the other contender. I said yes. And then she said something intriguing. She said he looked more like someone who would listen to people. The decision of a very attractive 23 year old girl with no interest in politics made in 20 seconds based on nothing but TV intuition.
@anony-moose – that’s the same sort of thing that I am hearing from people not typically interested in politics: Cunliffe comes across as a typical politician, Shearer as a more normal person who would listen.
A relative of mine said of Cunliffe via txt, “Never seen a politician who looks more like an over confident tosser of a car salesman. Ever.”
I love how you guys report the views of people who aren’t interested in politics as if they were some lost tribe from the jungle holding the secret of eternal political life that only you have acces to.
I’m very interested in how much interest the Labour leadership race is generating and the negative reactions I am hearing to Cunliffe and the positive ones I am hearing to Shearer. It also interests me that people I know who usually don’t comment on such things are.
That’s my experience, limited though it is.