August 19, 2007

Rudd's New York Night Out

The Herald-Sun reports that Kevin Rudd went to a New York strip club in September 2003.

The Age reports that Kevin Rudd went to a New York gentleman’s club in September 2003.

Whichever way you spin it, he was drunk, there were naked women, and he was on a taxpayer funded jaunt, with a Labor backbencher, which cost $18.000.

Some sources” claim that Mr Rudd was warned by the club management against inappropriate behaviour; meaning he was warned: don’t touch the naked women. He and his little group are said to have complied with the management request.

New York Post editor, Col Allan, who was out carousing with Mr Rudd (along with NT Labor MP Warren Snowdon) says that:

"(Mr Rudd) behaved like a perfect gentleman”

Mr Allan is the one who provided the story to the media. One does wonder why he would blow the whistle on a piss-up at a strip club purely so as to reveal that Kev behaved “like a perfect gentleman”. Safe to assume that Allan would not have offered-up a story about Rudd’s gentlemanly behavior if they’d hadn't gone to a "gentleman's cub" wherein Rudd was afforded the opportunity to demonstrate his "gentlemanly" behavior.

Rudd is frequently touted as working himself, and his staff, relentlessly; maybe Costello was taking a subtle swipe at that reputation with his comments:

"Treasurer Peter Costello declined to criticise Mr Rudd, but said he had never visited the Scores club.

"I find when I'm in America on official business they pack your program pretty full. I don't think that you get much time for that kind of activity"

While Rudd says he was too drunk to remember anything he did remember sufficiently to feel compelled to call his wife the very next day to discuss his "too drunk to remember" night out with the boys.

The Herald-Sun reports the circumstance thus:

"At the time, I raised these matters with my wife, Therese, and the circumstances surrounding them. I indicated to Therese that it would have been far better for me to have simply returned to my hotel after dinner."

While The Age offers the summary:

"He rang his wife, Therese Rein, at home in Brisbane the next day to confess to her."

Not often a man is anxious to call his wife to confess about things he can't remember, but there ya go, Rudd does.

Four years down the track Rudd is very twitchy about the public response to his strip club visit.

"Mr Rudd said he expected his public popularity to plummet following the revelations."

Either he's a complete idiot who knows nothing of the hard, black little hearts of the Australian electorate, or Rudd is setting this up as his fall-back, just in case his popularity does plummet between now and the election, and just in case he loses the election. (How handy it would be to be able to slate blame to a single night out four years ago, rather than Labor policies.)

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie takes a contrary view, believing that strip club visits will "endear" Rudd to voters.

"Mr Beattie said visiting Manhattan "gentlemen's club" ... showed Mr Rudd had "blood in his veins".
Shall we do a quick vox-pox to find out what voters had previously thought was flowing through Rudd's veins?

"I mean, what I think it will do is enhance his vote - show that he's human."
And another vox-pox to find out which species voters previously thought Rudd belonged to?
"I think anybody who's has a few drinks and gone off to a club of some kind, provided they've behaved appropriately, my attitude is big deal."

Note Beattie's gender neutral statement.

Note too his ignorance of, and insensitivity to. Victorian voters, all of whom were given a cold hard lesson in the realities of our local strip clubs only two months ago.

UPDATE:

Will there really be a backlash, or is this another beat-up by journalists with column inches to fill?

(Expect 'emergency' polls in the week ahead and breathless analysis.)
THE political danger for Kevin Rudd as he contemplates his moment of New York madness is that it gives the lie to the persona he has so far successfully sold to voters.
Only last week Rudd addressed the Australian Christian Lobby. He was a prominent member of the Federal Parliamentary prayer group.

History shows the electorate is swift in judgment on politicians who fail the character test. Ask Mark Latham. [Ouch! No one wants to be compared to Latham - ed]
Herald-Sun
A sign of humanity or a serious character flaw? Public opinion is split on whether Kevin Rudd's visit to a New York strip club will hurt the Labor leader's popularity. Of the 500 comments posted on the news.com.au website by 1pm, about half thought the incident proved why Mr Rudd was not fit to become prime minister.

"So I pay tax so Rudd can get tanked and act inappropriately at a titty bar?? Great news. Rudd is a fraud," he said.

Larry of Coastie suggested a new Labor candidate: "Shane Warne's chances of entering federal parliament have improved. Keep it up Kevin07."

A reader known only as Hubert said: "Congratulations Kev, from the look of this forum you have got the pervert vote stitched up.
Herald-Sun

16 comments:

  1. Kathy2:09 PM

    I just had a feeling you'd do a post on this one.

    Loved Costello's little dig!

    Now normally I wouldn't "give a tinkers cuss" about such news, but, Rudd has been perceived as such a "paragon of virtue."

    Who is he? What does he really stand for? What does he really believe?
    We do not know who the real Kevin Rudd is, and that bothers me!

    I still say his "me too I'm with you" tactics will eventually backfire.
    Matt Price calls it " brilliant politics"
    I'm not so sure.....

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  2. I don't see Aussies being shocked, awed, or changing their vote over this; it's not the way of our peoples.

    Could be a slight glitch with Victorian voters, for obvious reasons, but not enough to lose seats.

    Matt Price needs to differentiate between "brilliant politics" and what is "brilliant" for the country.

    I don't even think it's "brilliant politics".

    It's not clever, it's not bold, it's not inspiring, it's not visionary.

    Rudd is like the anti-Christ of clever, bold, inspiring or visionary.

    What's "brilliant" about it?

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  3. Kathy8:24 PM

    Don't think it will make a huge difference either, Caz.
    However he has this sort of squeaky clean image, which I think may become a little tarnished.

    Did I hear the word hypocrite?

    Look at the Burke dinner. I have an impeccable source that says Rudd did know he was the guest of honour at that dinner. Someone who has known the panama hat for over thirty years.

    Rudd is just as sleazy as Howard.

    And, you are right, I don't think it's " brilliant politics" either.

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  4. geoff8:53 PM

    Sorry guys. I've "batched" it in dozens of cities around the world in the "care of" colleagues, clients and others determined to show me a good time. New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Madrid, Rome, LA, Toronto, DC, Bangkok ...

    Nor am I a person known to have a left arm too feeble to raise a glass or two. And I believe I can fairly claim to be of liberal mind.

    But I have never ended up in a "Gentlemen's" establishment of any shape, form or description. It's easy to avoid really. You just say "no". And "goodnight". No drama.

    Why? Because these places disgust me. They demean women and they demean men even more. It's no "moral" sacrifice. I could not be in such a place because self-consciousness and embarrassment would make it physically impossible.

    Sorry if that sounds prudish. But this affair has confirmed a grave reservation I already had about Mr Rudd.

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  5. Kathy9:02 PM

    No Geoff, you are not prudish, just smart and perceptive.

    I dips me lid to ya mate!

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  6. Whoa, talk about "man about globe"!

    You've had a great life by the sound of it Geoff; I'm jealous of your travels.

    "Nor am I a person known to have a left arm too feeble to raise a glass or two.

    Seriously? (tee, hee)

    You're not being prudish.

    A lot of 'care' was taken by the MSM two months ago to present the two women caught up in Christopher Hudson's violence as being clean living, aspirational women, with many talents. It was a most peculiar form of political correctness. I would have frothed at the mouth if the media had condemned the women in any way (they didn't), but they went the other extreme. So much so, that today's article (which I linked to at the end of the post) is the very first time - two months after the event - that I have seen any news source describe both women as "strippers". Previously, they had gone to absurd trouble, describing the one who was shot as being, variously, a travel agent all the way through to being a "model".

    The thing is, anyone who thinks there is something glamorous, or even sexy about strip clubs is living in pixie land. It may be a legitimate way for a woman to make a living (if they survive the job), but it's neither healthy, nor safe; anyone saying otherwise is lying and has their own agenda.

    Our governments continue to run adverts and educational programs about, for example, family violence, sexual assault, etc. For all of them to now shrug their shoulders, as if naked dancing women fits right in with the government rhetoric, is gross hypocrisy. The boys on both sides of politics are defending the boys, or at least refusing to judge, which, in this instance, is exactly the same thing as offering a defense and support.

    Nice message to send to women, hey?

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  7. Kathy9:41 PM

    I think they(libs) are refusing to judge,(with the exception of Costello!) because they think Rudd is cooking his own goose!
    Plus, they don't want to be seen as wowsers pickin' on poor St Kev!

    Not good for the polls!( winks)

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  8. Kathy9:46 PM

    Typical politicians.. Always covering their own arse's!

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  9. No, I think the boys do stick together Kath, not the first time.

    "People in glass houses" and all that.

    They also have a vested interest in making sure we don't turn into the US or Britain, with their prurient obsessions, dressed up as morality.

    While I agree with that goal (is there anyone who wanted to picture Evans and Kernott naked together - eewww), there are some matters over which they should not maintain a protective silence.

    Sleaze is one of them.

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  10. Hmmm, maybe Caz. But it was Rudd who blamed Alexander Downer re the "Strip club leak"
    And really it was not just another tits and bums club. It was a fuckin'(pun intended) up market bordello.

    The boys stick together when it suits 'em! Fickle as!

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  11. If it's running 50/50, that probably means those who want Labor haven't changed their minds, and those who don't have found another reason for dissing Rudd.

    So, all in all, everything stays the same.

    Still, might be interesting to see how it plays out, but I'd expect it to be forgotten by the time the election campaign starts. Not exactly the sort of thing the gov't is going to be able to run ads about. :-)

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  12. Well, Downer is still living down the fishnet stockings, and a few really bad jokes that he told a decade or so ago; he has to deflect whenever opportunity knocks Kath. :-)

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  13. Goodness - I think I wrote all of this yesterday; quotes from today's paper:

    "Health Minister Tony Abbott said: "I have decided to be a Trappist monk on this topic. I think a vow of silence is good."

    "Jim Wallace, head of the Australian Christian Lobby, said: "This will obviously affect some people's responses, but we have to be careful and not cast the first stone."

    Feminists have promptly forgiven, and, er, forgotten:

    "Marie Coleman, from the National Foundation for Australian Women said it appeared Mr Rudd had been "pissed as a newt", which didn't excuse his behaviour but meant it was reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was out of character."

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  14. Lol Caz!
    Can't imagine what posessed Rudd to go to that club. (shakes head)Perhaps he was just being ingratiating, wanting to be "one of the boys?" Who knows.

    Certainly a weak man, not leadership material. It's made all the worse by the fact that he did not want to go there in the first place. Well, why go? I agree with Geoff on that score.(no pun intended!)
    Cartoonists, though, will never forget it. They will certainly get some mileage out of Rudd on this one.
    Bit like Downer and the fishnet stockings.
    Btw The "Australians" Stairway to Kevin cartoon was a beauty too, Caz!

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  15. Darlene1:01 PM

    Mmm, I don't think this story will have traction. Even "paragons of virtue" (which Rudd is not) have their flaws.

    Time will tell. There's all sorts of ways of being sleazy, of course.

    And we've seen plenty of that from the current mob.

    Hi Kath and Caz.

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  16. Kathy1:15 PM

    "And we've seen plenty of that from the current mob."

    Dead right Darl!

    The dilemma of who to vote for eh?

    The whole lot of 'em ain't too flash in my opinion.

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