October 15, 2004
From the Gallery
- Mark Latham should appoint Kevin Rudd as Shadow Treasurer – replacing Simon Crean – who has now wisely stepped down from the second most important job in the Shadow Ministry.
- Rudd has more intellectual firepower than any of the other
candidates, and it will be needed in the tough years ahead. His curriculum vitae is impressive: BA (Hons) ANU; DFAT diplomat; Chief Policy Adviser to Labor Queensland Premier, Wayne Goss; and Director-General of the Queensland Cabinet office.
- Experience as Shadow Treasurer would enhance Rudd’s obvious long term leadership aspirations, but Latham should not let that cloud his judgement over choosing the best candidate. Latham will need the most competent Shadow Treasurer he can get. Rudd certainly doesn’t lack the requisite confidence in his own ability,
which is essential to any successful politician. He also has plenty of mongrel in him.
- Our second choice for the job would be Lindsay Tanner, who is one of the more impressive thinkers in Caucus. Julia Gillard is a rising star, but she would not be up to Shadow Treasurer.
Her performance in Health has been patchy, and she must take a lot of the responsibility for the flawed Medicare Gold policy. This decision is the first big post election test for Latham.