David Cunliffe‘s entered the race for #laboursgottalent.
His press conference was bizarre.
Surrounded by party luminaries like Iain Lees-Galloway, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont, Louisa Wall and Nanaia Mahuta, he defended his wealth by claiming that the PM apparently flies over his Herne Bay house by helicopter en route to his electorate office.
He also claimed that mothers can no longer afford milk for their kids, and that taxi drivers work 14 hour days for $5 an hour..
At one point he literally embraced ‘socialism’ with a staged presentation of roses.
Perhaps worst of all, he promised top economic jobs for the Green Party in any Government he leads.
A few high/low lights:
Matthew Hooton noticed too and has written a column at the NBR (paywalled):
David Cunliffe has just become John Key’s preferred choice for leader of the Labour Party.
In his announcement at his electorate office in middle class New Lynn, far across town from his home in decile 10 Herne Bay, Mr Cunliffe came across as absolutely bonkers – a Kevin Rudd or a Tony Blair or Paul Keating at their most hubristic.
It was a pretty presumptuous speech.
Mr Cunliffe spoke the way one might expect from Nelson Mandela upon release from Robben Island.
Or Martin Luther King from the Lincoln Memorial.
Or Barack Obama upon election as US president.
In fact, Mr Cunliffe did indeed orate “yes we can!”
If such a style was bonkers enough in a small west Auckland electorate office, some of the content was worse.
The promise to raise taxes was fair enough. But the justification for why he chooses to live in Herne Bar rather than New Lynn? We are meant to believe it was to enable his lawyer wife to breastfeed! Women in New Lynn obviously can’t.
He claimed, almost certainly dishonestly, that Mr Key flies over his house to transport himself from Parnell to Helensville. This is something the National Party could easily work out.
He welcomed a presentation of red roses on the grounds they are the international symbol of socialism. This for someone who denied he would take Labour to the left.
Mr Cunliffe revealed why those he has worked with at university, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Boston Consultancy Group and the Labour caucus have all come to dislike him so much.
He has no sense of proportion of his place in the world.
Mr Key will need only to wait for him to self-destruct to secure his third term. And after this afternoon’s bizarre performance, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones must be feeling more hopeful.
In many ways the speech was kind of like this one from Gilderoy Lockhart: