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The Forum > Article Comments > Rudd - legitimately ambitious or a control freak? > Comments

Rudd - legitimately ambitious or a control freak? : Comments

By Mark Bahnisch, published 21/6/2007

Nicholas Stuartís 'Kevin Rudd: An Unauthorised Political Biography', to be published on Saturday, reveals a man who doesn't take kindly to opposing views.

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So Kevin Rudd did not want Nicholas Stuart to write his biography. Shock horror! On the other hand John Howard was happy to get a couple of mates to write his. So what?

Ho, hum, Mark. Are you short of things to write about?
Posted by FrankGol, Thursday, 21 June 2007 11:19:17 AM
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The article raises one important question.

Given the emphasis on Rudd's recognised very personal ambitious nature, if he succeeds in his goal of becoming PM, in his mind, simply what would be his next ambition?
Posted by keith, Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:03:06 PM
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FrankGol, I think it's an important book because so little is known about Rudd's persona, and it's clear at this point of the electoral cycle that he's quite likely to be our next PM. As I've suggested in the review, his attempt to control what information Stuart had access to in fact goes to what might be his greatest weakness (as well as - perhaps - something that has served him well to date). As far as political bios go, it's also very well written, and Stuart is noticeable unbiased as an author.
Posted by Mark B, Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:15:23 PM
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Yes, Mark, I accept that; but you can only guess at the reasons why Rudd did not want Nicholas Stuart as biographer. It's one thing to say: "Rudd asked associates and friends not to co-operate with the biographer" and another altogether to say that Rudd has an "overweening tendency to attempt to maintain control over events and their representations". People can always find some evidence to confirm and rationalise their predispositions.

Other explanations are possible. Maybe Rudd had other preferred biographers in mind (just as Howard did when he knocked back several would-be's). Maybe Rudd just wasn't ready for a biography (interviews do eat up time and require research even for the subject). As you say, "Rudd has, from an early age, shown that he pursues his goals with incredible focus and energy." Maybe he just wanted to devote all his energies to the political campaign.

Somewhat off-topic, I know, but since you raised it: you single out Christian Kerr of Crikey! as one of the more astute political commentators this year for negative comment on Rudd. You would know - but perhaps others don't - that Kerr has been a Liberal Party hack and still gives the political right a pretty good run in Crikey!
Posted by FrankGol, Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:40:23 PM
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FrankGol, yes, but Stuart makes a pretty convincing case as to the reasons for Rudd's lack of co-operation.

I know Christian used to be a liberal staffer, but I do think that often he picks up on things that are completely missed by the commentariat herd.

Disclosure: I write for Crikey as well.
Posted by Mark B, Thursday, 21 June 2007 12:42:35 PM
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Though only an old agrarian socialist from Depression Times, and who still won't vote for Labor, reckon you should give Rudd a go.

In fact, his control freak so-called present status, might be just what is needed to prove change against a Federal Government which has truly handed over control to the Corporate Culture, Liberal Ministers when challenged getting fanatical looks in their eyes like Nazi stormtroopers.

Wonder who's really running the show, when we have the IMF in the background ready to clamp down on a world record foreign debt for the size of the country. And making things worse, Costello skiting about the size of his still battling Future Fund, but with the Corporates having such strong connections with the media, the size of our foriegn debt is never revealed to the public.

Much more can be told about the lack of political revelation
especially about Federal Government boo's boo's being quietened down, but apparently because the ABC and SBS do seem to be informative enough to a rather naive public, cultural contentment still mostly reigns.
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 21 June 2007 1:27:04 PM
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