Tony Abbott is running for office,
The highest in all the South Land.
As the favorite of the bosses
He’s got his victory speech all planned.
But his rival is proving a tough nut,
Unexpectedly for a female,
Metaphorically kicking his butt,
And his strength is beginning to fail.
“It’s a marathon race, not a sprint,”
She’d whispered, all womanly and small.
Did he shiver and shake at the hint
That she’d tail him till he hit the wall?
Judging his manner and giveaway gait,
He knows now who’s setting the pace.
He is about to disintegrate
As Julia Gillard takes the lead in this race.
NOTES: It’s my birthday today, November 11th, and Migs was kind enough to send me greetings early this morning which I missed because I was out breakfasting at South Beach shed cafe with an old running friend who had bicycled across from Perth to meet me at seven our time. I was very buoyed up not so much by my birthday, or even the good health and happiness we both still enjoyed, but because things are looking so much better for Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her government and so much worse Tony Abbott!
As long-ago distance runners we talked about that in terms of Julia Gillard’s comment in an ABC interview last July, mentioned in Age article, that the carbon pricing campaign is
“… a marathon, not a sprint…..”
We agreed that she had been proved right. Tony Abbott has been steadily losing ground to Julia Gillard in the latest Newspolls which reveal a trend also confirmed by Nielson and others like Galaxy, as documented and discussed week after week by the Poll Bludger, William Bowe. Her remarkable personal resilience, her government’s legislative achievements and the soundness of the national economy must have been getting him down privately for some time, no matter how loudly he proclaimed her ineptitude and her government’s failings to the public.
Ad Astra at The Political Sword noticed that Tony Abbott was not only losing ground in the polls and in the media but he was also deteriorating physically in himself. As a retired medical practitioner he wrote about it in terms of
“The inexorable disintegration of the Leader of the Opposition (which) continues apace.”
As a one time runner myself I remembered that comment of the PM from last July. Tony Abbott is distance runner, often running marathons, so would be very familiar with the term ‘hitting the wall’ or sudden extreme fatigue. It’s a loss of strength experienced in endurance sports such as cycling and running, caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, and is particularly feared by marathon runners. It may be fanciful, but I like to think that Julia Gillard knew about this and had already made a shrewd assessment of Tony Abbott when she observed that poor polling didn’t worry her because she viewed the struggle with him and the Coalition as more of a marathon race than a sprint.
His supporters in the media like Samantha Maiden have certainly made that connection and are advising him to take a break, rest up. He is also seen to need some time out of the limelight since Julia Gillard’s worldwide PR triumph with her misogyny speech. Earlier he had foolishly and flatly denied an anecdote recounted by David Marr from his student days which depicted him as a misogynistic bully. In that detail of his past of the phrase “hitting the wall” had a different significance! The idea that he could have menacingly punched the wall behind the head of a woman who had defeated him in a student election seemed very credible in light of what is generally perceived to be his character by his political critics, at least. He had tried to gainsay that reputation by bringing the women of his family onto the political stage to defend him but that had little effect on his popularity ratings. All their protestations counted for nothing once he had pushed Julia Gillard into her passionate outburst with his loose tongue.
This little pome plays with the idea of Tony Abbott suddenly realizing that Julia Gillard has his measure and will out-run him. She will wear him down. He will hit the wall. Metaphorically this time, of course, in this political race. He possibly knows deep within himself that he has already done that once before, long ago, quite literally, and that he does not deserve to win office.