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Every reason for Key to blitz debate tonight

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, October 14th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key - Tags:

It is still possible to follow the news without encountering politics at every turn – but it’s getting harder. And the journalists are sitting alongside the leaders watching every step along the way. So far we see Otago Uni students giving Helen Clark a “rock star welcome“, with the ODT saying:

The Prime Minister was at her campaigning best…she could have announced the world was ending tomorrow and the students would still be cheering.”

Meanwhile “Key gets a ‘must try harder’ report from political commentators”:

“Political reporter Colin Marshall is on the campaign trail with John Key and says his plans simply aren’t as slick as Labour’s… Meanwhile, Key says he’s looking forward to tonight’s first televised leaders debate.”

All the more reason then for Mr Key to show off the work he’s been doing spending his weekends boning up on policy. We know he can be an animated and engaging performer when the conditions are right and he steps back from just running the lines. It’s time to set that charm loose.

20 comments on “Every reason for Key to blitz debate tonight ”

  1. randal 1

    the fact of the matter is that keys is like any other bond salesman. plenty of charm for those who might suscribe but he is unable to contain his disdain for those who aren’t going to buy his package.

  2. shorty 2

    Thats pretty much all politicians you are describing randal. I’ll probably ‘watch’ the debate tonight with my back to the TV

  3. the pundits are saying he’ll need a convincing tie with Clark at least not to loss even more momentum and a convincing win to get any momentum for his campaign

  4. shorty 4

    You’re probably right SP. Helen is an old pro at these debates by now and Key is certainly up against it. Her biggest problem for me is she tends to come across as an arrogant know all whereas Key looks like a little boy lost far too often.

    But my biggest concern this year is how much more money are these two going to promise away in the next 3 and a half weeks? The way it’s going I’ll probably end up voting for whoever promises the least.

  5. Dancer 5

    For me the issue is that we have different expectations of what a good performance is. Yes, Helen Clark has experience behind her but it also means we expect more from her. If John Key gives the impression of keeping up with her it will be seen as a win to him (yet he’ll have worked really hard to achieve that) Yet, if this were a job interview we’d be asking who performed the task the best.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Who is the interviewer/mediator, as this will probably be the difference between the “debate” being poor or abysmal.

    Perhaps D4J and Randal could do one half each ?

  7. Pat 7

    It’s Mark Sainsbury.

  8. Dom 8

    So Key truly is Sarah Palin…if he doesn’t screw up he wins – but ultimately that means he’s not suitable to be PM – we deserve better.

  9. higherstandard 9

    He’s a bit soft, although I s’pose there’s not really much to choose from and he’s less likely than some to make the debate all about the host.

  10. higherstandard 10

    What exactly have Key and Palin got in common Dom apart from the fact you’re barracking for their opponents ?

  11. HS. It’s a youtube debate, the bulk of the questions will be ones submitted by people on youtube and chosen by TV1.

    Shit, in my question I say it was PricewaterhouseCoopers who said privatising ACC would give $200mil in profits to aussie insurers. It was Merrill Lynch, which was my initial thought. PWC wrote the report earlier this year praising ACC.

  12. higherstandard 12


    1. As a greens supporter shouldn’t you be boycotting the debate ?

    2. I expect most of the questions on you tube will be people espousing their own particular ideology and coming up with cheap shots – any useful questions will be few a far between.

    3. As neither party will be able to form a government by itself I would have liked all the other political parties to have had the option to submit two questions each which both Clark and Key had to answer.

  13. Pat 13

    Political policy trainspotters like us who visit blogs are the vast minority. I have always thought that these TV leaders debates will determine the outcome of the election more than anything else.

    Unfortunately, it is not what they say, but how they say it, that will make up the minds of the swing voters.

    Not since Bolger has anyone been able to go toe to toe with Clark in these debates. It will be fascinating to see whether Johnnie is a contender or a pretender.

  14. roger nome 14

    SP – it isn’t Higherstandard, it’s dad.

  15. higherstandard 15

    I still thought it was ironic that Brash was pilloried for being polite to the PM as she was a woman.

    At least we haven’t quite got to the level of debate they have in Taiwan where all in brawls are not uncommon during parliamentary debates.

  16. higherstandard 16

    Go home roger gnome – I’m not your dad.

  17. roger nome 17

    I am at home dad. BTW – why are you posting under other peoples’ handles again? Have you been banned?

    [lprent: But that is hs you’r referring to. I let dad back in yesterday (2 weeks early) in an unbelievable burst of generosity. It was mostly to see his reaction to the change in poll results. Aunty Helen heading home for a 4th term. That has to be annoying. ]

  18. roger. the higherstandard writing now is the real higherstandard … maybe you’re just trying to wind him up. sorry if i’ve wrecked your game

  19. higherstandard 19

    That’s OK SP apparently Roger’s dad is arriving today after all.


  20. Felix 20


    Dancer explained a few comments up the similarity between Key and Palin in terms of “our” perceptions of their performance.

    I think that’s what Dom is getting at.

    I’d add that they’re both “post-turtles” as well.

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