Gone by lunchtime
News that the Leader of the Opposition may have had an affair outside of marriage has been leading the headlines here in New Zealand. It’s believable: the current Mrs Brash was the “other woman” when her relationship with the good doctor began, and now she ﬁnds herself in the position of the woman scorned.
Predictions are falling both ways, though more in favour of Don Brash. The wisdom seems to be that Brash will survive this, and that his affair humanizes him. But since he had campaigned on being the candidate with traditional values at the last General Election—for instance, refusing to debate strongly with the Prime Minister because she is a woman—the “Teﬂon Don” approach could yet backﬁre on him.
If he had been anything other than the leader of a values-led, slightly traditionalist party, I would say the affair would wash off him. But this contradicts Don Brash’s brand. It contradicts the National Party’s efforts, contrasting the liberal nature of the Government. I don’t care how it humanizes him. If our British readers want to consider how John Major’s affair with Edwina Currie might have been perceived had it been revealed while he was in ofﬁce, then you get a similar picture.
While National did not invent sleaze, and both sides have plenty of skeletons in their cupboards, Don Brash is in dangerous territory this coming week. And this coming week is a long time in politics. If someone who expresses National’s core values can be found to be ready to lead, Brash risks being gone by lunchtime.
Strangely, Brash’s best solution may well be candour and to show that talking straight, and admitting the truth, is in line with his party’s values. It worked for Major, and it may work for him. But talking straight is hardly this politician’s strong suit—even if he had been a conscientious Reserve Bank governor, once upon a time. Somewhere along the line, he learned how to speak Beehive double-talk.
George Clooney has a better chance in politics right now. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:14
I am not so sur that this is the end of him, it was a smart move to relaese the email to the nat mp's not to retaliate with dirt on Labour. Perhaps this will add some balance in favor of the Brash brand.
# posted by Anonymous: 9/15/2006 09:53:00 AM
The media certainly seem forgiving of Brash’s peccadilloes, and that will affect the public’s perception positively. The email may add balance, I agree.
public opinion polls seem to disagree with you. its got nothing to do with his brand - brash has never been a morals crusader.Post a Comment
the private life of deputy prime minister, finance minister and attorney general michael cullen doesn't seem to have made him incapable of running the finances and laws of nz. he had a fling, left his wife and re-married the other woman while a member of parliament. does this mean he has been somehow incapable as a cabinet minister for the past 7 years? and what of david lange? a prime minister who had an affair with his own press secretary, left his wife and shacked up with and later married the press secretary (margaret pope)? did this make him incapable of leading the country? and what about don mckinnon, former deputy prime minister. he had a long relationship with a staff member that resulted in an end to his marriage. he went on to become commonwealth secretary general. brash’s private life is no business of busy-body womans day readers and muckrakers who are attempting to divert us from the real issue. he should be left alone, and clark should get onto the job of paying back the $800,000 of taxpayers money that she misappropriated to buy the last election - which the auditor general has said is illegal, the police has said is prima facie criminal, and the electoral act states is a corrupt practice.
# posted by harrison: 9/23/2006 02:33:00 PM
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