A quick post before I head off (again). I have previously resisted the temptation to 'call' the US Presidential election because it's never over till it's over but certainly by any and all measures the election is one for Obama to lose.
But equally clearly the less than stellar performance by Obama in the first Presidential debate had made the race more interesting to the point where Thursday's Vice Presidential debate has more riding on it than any Vice Presidential debate in recent times.
Two candidates, one 'old' one 'new'. One a Washington insider as a Senator and Vice President for the last four decades; the other a Congressman since 1998 and with his roots firmly in the Mid West, Both Catholics from the wrong sides of the tracks.
So it's going to be interesting. In the Presidential debate Obama was expected to walk all over Romney, he didn't. In the Vice Presidential debate the Republicans will be hoping that Ryan can provoke the gaffe prone Biden into more stunners while the Democrats will count on Ryan's penchant for detail to switch off the audience. Whatever, there is a lot riding on this for both campaigns ... going to be interesting viewing.
Gillard made a HUGE tactical error in backing Slipper in the 'no confidence' debate while at the same time Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, aided and abetted by Labor's Anthony Albanese, were telling Slipper that his position was untenable. Gillard was seen as defending the indefensible with her caucus forced to back her in the vote; it was a position that many of them were uncomfortable with ... and with the latest poll showing a 3% drop in Labor support (and this was before the vote) one could be forgiven for thinking the Rudd camp just had an early Christmas present.
I think too Gillard is overplaying her hand in trying to paint Abbot as an unreconstructed misogynist. Abbott enjoys a normal family relationship with a wife and three daughters. Gillard's relationship of convenience is a matter of public record. Abbot has as his Chief of Staff the formidable Peta Credlin, his Chief Press Officer is a female, his Deputy is a female.
Actions speak louder than words and that is hardly the action of a unreconstructed misogynist.