- Date published:
7:04 am, March 17th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, leadership, national - Tags: attack politics, dirty politics, nasty, nasty nats, vernon small, worried nats
National’s nasty, obvious, hamfisted attack on Jacinda Ardern has backfired on them big time. Here’s Vernon Small:
National’s attack on Labour’s deputy suggests concerns more than skin deep
Why did National wheel out Nikki Kaye to launch a personal attack on Jacinda Ardern in the House?
It’s been the talk in Parliament’s corridors and in the coffee shops down on Lambton Quay today.
The aim was obvious; try and “frame” her as empty, superficial, without any significant achievements. A show pony. It’s the same tactic National has used with effect in the past. When Andrew Little took the leadership it immediately launched a coordinated attempt to type-cast him as “Angry Andy”.
Whether it was a wise move on National’s part is a different question.
The speed and intensity of the attacks confirmed, if any confirmation was needed, that National sees her as a threat.
Her profile is high and she has got people talking. There is a consensus across Labour and National insiders; she has the potential to bring votes and interest back to Labour and National’s formidable opinion-sampling may have already picked that up.
Ardern’s reaction was to head for the moral high ground.
Perhaps for the first time since Helen Clark and Michael Cullen – aided hugely by the retirement and early exit of John Key – Labour has a leadership that is not in the shadow of National’s line up.
But was he [English] concerned at Ardern’s popularity? “Not particularly.”
National’s reaction suggests otherwise.
No doubt the poll-driven Nats have had some bad news about Ardern’s popularity, and reached for their usual attack tactics. But Key would have been much more subtle. This bungling only boosts Ardern’s profile, and draws attention to how worried the Nats are about Labour’s leadership.
National's attack on Labour's deputy suggests concerns more than skin deep https://t.co/hfOctIemON
— Stuff.co.nz Politics (@NZStuffPolitics) March 16, 2017
National's attacks on Jacinda look desperate – and need to stop. https://t.co/JhzZ3EFA5s
— Patrick Gower (@patrickgowernz) March 16, 2017