Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Doyle quits - Jeff preens

Jeff-Jeff-Jeff-Jeff! Does anyone else hear the Jeff Train-a-comin?

Robert Doyle's demise this morning was mercifully brief and understated – but still more like the drowning of a haggard cat than the dignified end of a political career.

So who to take on the seemingly invincible Steve Bracks in the November 26 State Election?

Terry Mulder? Who he? Doyle's recently installed deputy Louise Asher? Or Ted Baillieu? The Planning spokesman's got to overcome the perception he's born to rule, and had been reluctant to challenge in recent months. Because, let's face, it who wants to jump in the State Liberal caboose and lead the train wreck?

And then there's Jeff. Peter Costello confirmed this morning that the party's constitution allowed Kennett to take the leadership without first gaining a seat in Parliament. Or he could nominate for Doyle's now vacant seat of Malvern.

The pros and cons of Kennett taking over are outlined in my piece for New Matilda way back on February 22 when I broke the news that of the concerted moves behind the scenes to install him as Liberal Leader by midyear. You can check it out HERE.

Kennett was in a meeting of AFL presidents this morning in his capacity as Hawthorn president, and not commenting.

Costello gave a hillarious interview with 3AW's Neil Mitchell this morning where he managed to deny influencing events in the State party – the party the Federal Treasurer controls with his mate Michael Kroger.

Oh no, said Costello, "I've been stuck in the Treasury preparing next week's Budget." That hasn't stopped Kroger pulling the levers behind the scenes – and even plotting publicly over coffee this week with deputy leader Louise Asher.

Monday's party room meeting will vote on the leadership. Whether Kennett makes a spectacular comeback will depend, among other factors, on the base fears of the rump of Liberal MPs.

If enough of them see doom for their seat on November 26, the whisper for Jeff may – just may – become a roar.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone said...

Why would Jeff want to leave the greatest organisation in the Land, at a period of time when it is entering a period of great success to go lead the biggest rabble in the land?

Molly
http://afl.mollyzine.com

5:33 pm  
Blogger Hugo said...

Er, you mean the Hawthorn Football Club? Seeing Jeff jauntily wearing his mustard pot jacket to the footy, I'd be inclined to agree, pmm.

3:40 am  
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5:53 pm  

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