Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Kevin Rudd: A volatile but polished politician
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) June 27, 2013

A charismatic but hot-tempered politician with an ear for the zeitgeist, the prodigal son of Australian politics Kevin Rudd sealed his remarkable resurrection as leader Thursday, pleading with the public to renew the faith.

Rudd, 55, was sworn in as Australia's 28th prime minister at Government House, capping a dramatic 24 hours in the nation's politics with echoes of his own demise in similar circumstances three years and three days ago.

The Mandarin-speaking ex-diplomat flipped history on its head, dispatching his once-deputy Julia Gillard in a 57-45 vote of Labor lawmakers to avenge his ouster from office shortly before 2010 elections.

"In 2007 the Australian people elected me to be their prime minister. That is a task that I resume today with humility, with honour and with an important sense of energy and purpose," Rudd said after his victory late Wednesday.

Ever a man of the people, Rudd made his pre-caucus pitch not to MPs but directly to voters, saying it was "the voices of the Australian people" that had persuaded him to challenge Gillard's leadership for the third time in little more than a year.

"We're on course for a catastrophic defeat unless there is change. And so today I'm saying to you, the people of Australia, I'm seeking to respond to your call," he said, vowing to reunite the fractious Labor camp which polls suggest is doomed to defeat in September elections.

Rudd stormed to power in 2007 with a landslide victory that ended a decade of conservative rule, campaigning for generational change with an emphasis on issues such as global warming.

He was for years a darling of the public, but his confidence with voters translated to egotism -- even megalomania -- behind the scenes, according to Labor colleagues who had, by mid-2010, lost faith in the prime minister.

A series of policy mis-steps provided the pretext for party members to swoop, deposing him in a shock coup which delivered Gillard to power as Australia's first female leader. She kept him in the cabinet as foreign minister, but they made uneasy partners.

His volatile temper was on show in a video that emerged in 2012, filmed when he was still premier, showing Rudd swearing and gesticulating in frustration while trying to record a public message. He accused the Gillard camp of leaking the footage.

Rudd came from humble beginnings to head the Labor Party and oust long-serving conservative leader John Howard.

Rudd promised closer engagement with Asia, made a landmark apology to Australia's Aborigines for their treatment under white rule, and ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

The assured, if bookish, leader unravelled Howard's harsh immigration policies and kept Australia recession-free throughout the global financial crisis, something no other advanced economy achieved.

He reminded colleagues of these credentials Wednesday as Australia's decade-long China resources boom cools and the economy faces a painful transition away from its reliance on mining.

Rudd endured a tough childhood, forced to sleep temporarily in a car aged 11 when his family was evicted from their Queensland farm following his father's death in a road accident.

He said that experience shaped the views on social justice that led him to run for federal parliament, where he was elected in 1998 at his second attempt.

Before arriving in Canberra he was a senior bureaucrat for the state Labor government in Queensland and had a lengthy career as a diplomat, including postings to Stockholm and Beijing.

The start of his first premiership's downfall can be traced to December 2009 when he failed to pass much-vaunted emissions trading laws and badly damaged his credibility with voters.

Rudd was further savaged in a very public dust-up with the powerful mining industry over plans for a new tax on resources profits which finally sparked his ouster.

Despite his dumping as prime minister, Rudd consistently came out on opinion polls as the preferred leader ahead of Gillard.

Wednesday was his third tilt at his old job since being dispatched in 2010 -- he famously quit as foreign minister in February 2012 while in Washington to challenge Gillard, losing 31 votes to 71.

His backers agitated again for a ballot in March, but Rudd refused to stand when Gillard called his bluff and announced a sudden vote.

Rudd is married with three children. His wife Therese Rein is a millionaire businesswoman.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Elbegdorj: From freedom fighter to Mongolian statesman
Beijing (AFP) June 26, 2013
A key figure in Mongolia's transition to democracy more than two decades ago, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has emerged as the dominant force in the country's political landscape, but questions linger about his ability to confront inequality in the resource-rich nation. Elbegdorj became president in 2009 after twice serving as premier, taking office on the back of his democratic pedigree in a countr ... read more

India chopper crash kills 20 as flood rescue forges on

India rescue chopper crash death toll rises to 20

WIN-T Increment 1 Enables National Guard to Restore Vital Network Communications Following a Disaster

Australia costs from natural disasters to soar: study

Laser guided codes advance single pixel terahertz imaging

New laser shows what substances are made of; could be new eyes for military

Google making videogame console and smart watch: report

Ames Laboratory scientists solve riddle of strangely behaving magnetic material

Sea level along Maryland's shorelines could rise 2 feet by 2050

Migrating animals add new depth to how the ocean "breathes"

El Nino, La Nina unlikely to make an appearance in 2013: WMO

Gulf of Mexico could see record 'dead zone': US

Is Arctic Permafrost the "Sleeping Giant" of Climate Change?

The rhythm of the Arctic summer

Global cooling as significant as global warming

Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss

Comparing genomes of wild and domestic tomato

Dutch government introduces nitrogen-reduction bill for nature areas

Rotation-resistant rootworms owe their success to gut microbes

Pesticides tainting traditional China herbs: Greenpeace

New Jersey may have been hit by a tsunami in mid-June

Calgary woman's drowning brings flood toll to four

Mexico storm upgraded to hurricane: forecasters

India flood rescue ops intensify, up to 1,000 feared dead

Mali coup leader says sorry: military source

New Sudan armed forces chief after rebel attacks

Uganda president's son denies plan to succeed father

Africa juggles East and West, as Obama comes to visit

China to fund search for origins of early humans

The evolution of throwing

Australia, Indonesia to face off over people smuggling

Outside View: Cosby's inciteful insights on Muslims

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement