Key, leadership, and the audacity of hope

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, September 3rd, 2008 - 24 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key - Tags:

Perhaps Mr Key is feeling a little regretful about comparing himself to Barack Obama. Certainly the chutzpah inherent in such a comparison has been noted – including these comments in the ODT today from Simon Cunliffe:

“it’s quite natural that a political leader such as the “young, smart and rich” John Key might think about himself in the same breath as US Senator and Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States Barack Obama . . . isn’t it? …

Only on Monday did Mr Key and the National Party launch their billboard campaign: “Wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones. Choose a brighter future, party vote National”. And, gosh, right there on page 47, Mr Obama is preoccupied by the very same issue. “I consider the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be both fiscally irresponsible and morally troubling.”

Or possibly Mr Key was thinking back to the cut and thrust of his early days in Parliament, attacking the wimpish Labour-led Government for not joining the Iraq war effort, saying New Zealand was “missing in action”.

How reassuring then he must have found this entry further down on the same page: “Back in 2002, just before announcing my Senate campaign, I made a speech at one of the first anti-war rallies in Chicago in which I questioned the Administration’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction and suggested that an invasion of Iraq would prove to be a costly error.”

Great minds think alike – well, about the same sort of things, at least.”

24 comments on “Key, leadership, and the audacity of hope”

  1. Ben R 1

    Remember that Obama is promising tax cuts to 95% of the US. It’s only those earning over $250,000 who will have there tax cuts from Bush increased back up.

  2. lprent 2

    That really isn’t the question. The question is if doing tax cuts for the rich in the the present put your kids into debt and make them poorer than you. Of course according to the ideology this isn’t meant to happen…

    It is good to see that John Key is following this fine tradition. Of course that is why they’re called ‘conservatives’. It doesn’t matter how many times a old tactic fucks up – it will work this time.

    Yeah right. It is hope all right, futile, but definitely hope.

    (hopefully Obama is better than JK…)

  3. Scribe 3


    I think you got your final two sentences around the wrong way…

    Should it have read: “hopefully Obama is better than JK It is hope all right, futile, but definitely hope”?

  4. lprent 4

    Nope. looks correct to me. I was pointing out the futile hopes that conservatives seem to have in repeating their daft policies of the past. Always seems to be a case of ideology overcoming a sense of history (either that or conservatives lack generational memories).

  5. Scribe 5

    I’ll be sure to include a smilie at the end of my comment next time…

  6. Better Dead Than Red 6

    An article with a valid point. But what are you saying? That the Nats don’t have much of a clue? Of course you’re right, and that’s why so many NZers see their ascent to power as a small sign of hope more than anything else. The fact remains, as dopey as they are, they’re a hell of a lot more popular than your lot.

    Of course the irony is that Key missed a great opportunity to provide a really notable sound bite. He should have worked in a reference to Sarah Palin. Note I didn’t use the verb compare. That’s because in the politically confused and cowed by the left National Party, there’s nobody who can really compare to Sarah Palin. If there was, the rest of the Nats, especially their command squad, would be pissing their pants in rancid fear that the horses might be frightened..

  7. Felix 7


    “the Nats, especially their command squad, would be pissing their pants in rancid fear that the horses might be frightened..”

    And you think they’re not?

  8. Principessa 8

    JK: The Audacity of Hopelessness.

  9. Roby110 9

    BDTR said”Of course you’re right, and that’s why so many NZers see their ascent to power as a small sign of hope more than anything else”

    Sorry? Hope? There is not a skerrick of “hope” in th current electorate affair with the Tories. words like grumpy, bloody minded, ignorant(in the true sense of the word) and lazy all come to mind but not hope. Hope for what? Another round of social problems (such as we’re dealing with now) in 20 years? National debt to pay off before we can again invet in our community? Gutted social services? Hope? Yeah Right.

  10. Better Dead Than Red 10

    “And you think they’re not?”

    Like the Republicans in the US, they’re at a big disadvantage. Left media in NZ crucifies them when ever they expose any sign of thinking outside of the approved leftist thought gulag.

    Want an example?

    Look at the left media beat up over Key’s meet with Lord Ashcroft compared to their reticence to pursue the Owen Glenn/ NZ First/ Labour connection. Why wasn’t Helen ever asked whether she knew of the donations before now. So many other lines of enquiry need to be followed up. Instead they’re wittering away about Key/ Ashcroft. Hopelessly partisan.

  11. randal 11

    doesnt matter what key said to lord aschcroft. it wont do any good.

  12. Dan 12

    As I talk to various Nat friends, they are very worried. In the past, the Nats have been held together by a common philosophy of self determination, and a belief that all involved can run the country better than the incumbents. The present bunch are frustrated that they are kept out of the loop, that they are demeaned, that the current leader and his mate take it all on themselves to say what is electable.
    Key has been given too much space by the Nats hierachy. His initial opening spiel that he was “ambitious” was an obvious steal from Tony Blair. His whole persona is dependent on the latest focus group.
    Hey dude, the kids at college can see through you. The wavering Nats will eventually bail out and say “Let’s stick with something that is successful!’

  13. Dean 13

    “Perhaps Mr Key is feeling a little regretful about comparing himself to Barack Obama.”

    If you had any hope to retain credibility then you’d acknowledge that you’ve quoted him selectively – just like the “kiwiblog right” do with anything Labour – and admit that you’re stirring up a storm in a teacup.

    Have you ever considered a career in journalism?

  14. T-Rex 14

    Don’t pack a wah about it Dean.

    Key might mentioned it in reference to his “not being institutionalised” or whatever, but you know damned well the association he was trying to build.

    He’s got no one to blame but himself.

    If he wanted to avoid accusations of delusions of grandeur he should have said – “I’m a bit like Barack Obama, except in all the ways that matter”.

  15. Dean 15


    “Don’t pack a wah about it Dean.”

    Don’t pack a sad and talk about haters and wreckers. Helen mentioned it once, but I think she got away with it.

    “Key might mentioned it in reference to his “not being institutionalised’ or whatever, but you know damned well the association he was trying to build.

    He’s got no one to blame but himself.

    If he wanted to avoid accusations of delusions of grandeur he should have said – “I’m a bit like Barack Obama, except in all the ways that matter’.”

    Is quoting only half of what someone said deserving of saying they deserve the conclusion that can be made from it?

    Just asking. Althought I suspect I know the answer.

    You’ve got noone to blame but yourself if you are called into question over such a statement.

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    “Helen mentioned it once”

    And you’ve never shut up about it since.

    “noun, verb, haters and wreckers”

    I was one of the targets of that comment Dean, standing out there on parliament’s forecourt. Were you?

    If not, stfu.

  17. toad 17

    I think I’ve finally got to the bottom of the Nats’ Kiwibank sale secret agenda backtrack. Take a look.

  18. Dean 18


    “If not, stfu.”

    If you can’t admit Key has been half-quoted here, leaving out half of his statement, then I suggest you should take your own advice.

  19. Daveski 19

    As Dean has mentioned, the way this has been blown up completely out of proportion is a joke.

    Key did not state he was an Obama clone – he merely pointed out that like Obama he wasn’t institutionalised in politics.

  20. Rob 20

    Great Article in the Dominion today on the perils of MMP and why Labour wont get a fourth term from Mike Moore.

    [lprent: Someone else I don’t take much notice of apart from yourself. For some reason I’m on his damn mailing list.]

  21. Dom 21

    Mike Moore is like a clingy, one-night stand who keeps phoning you up even though you made it clear you never want to see him again. Pity we can’t take out a restaining order on him…

  22. monkey-boy 22

    Thanks for the tip Rob – yes – it is a scary thought.
    I selected some quotes:

  23. randal 23

    if keys is not instituionalised yet then he dam well should be..hehehehe

  24. Felix 24

    Yeah he probably should be – he thinks lord whatshisface flew here to talk about British politics.

    Cos that’s who lord farquad would consult when he needs a bit of advice eh? That guy Johnny Keys from NZ.

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