Is Camp Hillary Watching the Rudd-Gillard Rivalry Down Under?
defended the controversial decision, which he conceded is “hard line”: his government will “make no apology for the decision we’ve taken.”Rudd, who was Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, retook the top job from his rival and former deputy Julia Gillard about a month ago. The rivalry between the two is similar to that of the Obama and Clinton wings of the Democratic Party in the US. Gillard snatched the leadership position of the Labor Party at the last moment before elections in 2010, but she handed Rudd the post of Foreign Minister, at least for a little while. He stepped down from that position last year after an unsuccessful attempt to undermine Gillard and reclaim the leadership of their party.The new post-Gillard Labor government of Australia is Clintonian rather than Obamian. It is as if Hillary had replaced Obama in the White House and shifted the tone and on some issues the policy toward the center, or even center right.So far these moves seem broadly popular among Australian voters. Currently, parliament is divided almost evenly, with the opposition coalition holding a slim advantage over Labor. But with his first few actions in his most recent term as PM, Rudd has given his Labor party a real shot at a win in the fall.Camp Clinton, one suspects, is watching.[When they were friends: Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in 2006, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.]