9 Sep. 2007

How Low Can He Go?

I didn't think I was capable of over-estimating him any more, but there you go. Howard is going down and taking the party with him:
Today, during his final press conference, he insisted he would remain as leader.

"I do intend to contest (the election), I intend to contest it as leader. That question was settled last year," Mr Howard told reporters.

Earlier, he told his fellow APEC leaders that he looked forward to seeing them at future meetings.
I really thought he might have had the good sense to see the writing on the wall. Tomorrow's AC Neilsen poll should be very interesting indeed. [UPDATE: VIA POLLBLUDGER: Labor’s lead two-party lead at 57-43 compared with 55-45 last month.]

APEC was Howard's last chance, and it was a massive flop. Not only did he not get the riot he was praying for, but the over-the-top security is almost certainly going to backfire on him. Check out this BBC story for some international reaction:
After Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympics, a compelling case could be made for holding the games in the city every four years, such was the panache and energy which pulsated through its staging. After Apec, most Sydneysiders are saying "Never again".
There was also nothing to show in the diplomatic bag, as this Bloomberg story shows:
Disagreements were the highlights of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation annual meetings held in Sydney this weekend.

South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun sparred with U.S. President George W. Bush over the 50-year-old Korean war, Australian Prime Minister John Howard riled China, Indonesia and the Philippines with a climate change proposal, while China sulked over being excluded from talks among the U.S., Australia and Japan.

Some of the 21 members attending the summit, criticized in the past for being a yearly talking shop about contemporary crises, said APEC was straying from its founding vision, which was to liberalize trade across the Pacific.
For me, the low point of APEC was Downer's petulant response to Rudd's Chinese language PR coup:
"I know, of course, dozens and dozens of people who speak lots of languages, they don't just speak Mandarin." ...

Mr Downer, who once served with Mr Rudd in the Department of Foreign Affairs, said language training was part of becoming a diplomat.

"I did mine (language) in two months and I think he did his in two years.

"Now that could say something about him and me or that could say something about the two languages. I'm backing the former explanation."
Two months??? Anybody got some video of Downer speaking French? What a disgrace that man is.