60 Minutes blog

The Contender, Tony Abbott

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Honestly, you would have thought Jackie Chan was about to somersault into Sydney for Chinese New Year.

The crowds had gathered and were spilling out onto the streets.

Passers-by were asking: Who was the celebrity we were all expecting?

Frankly, I was wondering myself.

And this frenzy of anticipation was building. There were those who knew who was coming, and those who didn't. And those who didn't, quite understandably, thought this was going to be big.

I must admit, I was starting to worry.

I knew who the "celebrity" would be, and I thought there just might be an audible groan of disappointment from those not in the know.

Suddenly, the dragons roared and the drums pounded. Tony ‘the Tiger' Abbott, in a crisp white shirt and a grin from ear to ear, had arrived.

It all seemed a bit surreal.

As he was being showered in glitter and mobbed by the masses, I could tell even Australia's latest Opposition leader was a little stunned. Mind you, happily stunned.

But, strangely, there was no groan. Just a small sigh perhaps that Tony aka Mr B. Smuggler, had arrived in long trousers.

Yes, I've just spent time on the road with Tony Abbott and I can tell you it's anything but dull. The only reason I ever wanted to close my eyes was because of lack of sleep.

This is one driven politician.

Anytime before sunrise, he's up!

His exercise is equal to that of an elite athlete.

The bike, the run, the swim.

I'm thinking, when will this ever stop … and I'm just watching.

I'm also wondering how he'll fit all this in as Prime Minister. I'm starting to have nightmares. Daylight Saving under Abbott. 4am is the new 8am. I feel sick.

But our would-be-Prime Minister's mood is eternally elevated. He reminds me of Steve Leibman, my always-whistling-at-4am TODAY Show co-host, back in the 90s.

Tony Abbott is an interesting bloke. And he is a bloke with a capital B. His banter with the boys is, well, bloke-ish.

If you wanted to dislike him, time in his company would make that very difficult.

He's funny, he's witty, and he's sharp.

He's comfortable with people and laughs easily. And he still does tell it as he sees it, although it's obvious he's had to find some new words and phrases.

His biggest challenge it seems to me, is not whether he can win over the Australian people... although that is a major hurdle... it's wooing his family into public life.

His wife, Margie, and his three daughters are far from sold on life in the Lodge.

The girls have no interest in politics, and Margie agrees the only reason she's happy for Tony to be Opposition leader, is because it puts him one step closer to the end of his political career.

All of which makes for one interesting balancing act.

But, I guess, as Malcolm Fraser told us all, life wasn't meant to be easy.

User comments
Kevin Rudd should still be in the position that the Australian people voted him into. This is un Australian. The self announced PM is more worried about our borders and what is outside them rather than what is happening within its' borders. The opposing candidate is like Phar lap hes just in for the run. As it stands however I would never vote for Ms Guillard
Well Done Abbott! While the media and so many are critical of you being "negative" on attacking the P.M. One has to remember THE STATUS QUO is better than imposing a resource tax on the sector which has increased Australia's prosperity. Your speech hit home to regular Australians who have suffered MASSIVE share price losses as a result of Rudd's Reckless "one man show" policy actions. RUDD didn't even consult industry groups - he was just "Out with it" and is now playing the "fascist dictator". Rudd is out of touch when he ignores Australia's position in the WORLD stage and further alienates investment into this country. My 12 Year Old could see the fallacious logic behind Mr Rudd's budget. Expecting the people you wage war with to continue record growth is a fallacy of logic and demonstrates incompetent fear rather than Abbott's logical, scientific and honest position. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA and BOOT OUT LABOR BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!
Abbott your a joke. A religious zealot who would take away the rights of the average aussie. Blind Freddy would do a better job than you.
Tony Abbott has since admitted he chose his words wrongly when he said he felt "threatened" by homosexuals. However I think the MardiGras is completely unnecassary and in poor taste. We get it your gay. No need to flash your bits everywhere and simulate sex down the street. Would the government ever approve of a Heterosexual Mardi gras as graphic as the gay one. Of course not. they would say it was obscene and in poor taste. If your gay so what. It doesnt shock or impress me. Get on with life and stop playing the victim. Homosexuality is very passe. Its a non issue.
Loved this interview. Loved the people in this interview Loved the values, strengths and open weaknesses of the people in this interview. Loved the family sliding under the table at the mention of Dad - Hubbys career move. %P.. lol. So Australian! Love the fact that I now have absolute certainty in where my next vote will go should I get the opportunity. Just leave daylight saving as it is thankyou very much.
Just like his honesty, cant remember the last time I saw a Politician who was.
Congratulations to Liz Hayes and 60 Minutes for a surprisingly balanced interview of Tony Abbott. As a contender who is ripe for derisive plucking by the media I thought your handling of the interview was quite well done, and possibly the best in depth interview of an Australian political leader that I have seen in a while. Again WELL DONE!
After the pool scene I was just starting to feel the warm and fuzzies about Tony Abbott myself. Then we hit the bbq scene and I worked out that the Abbott family really are just the same as us. I mean, most Aussies drink San Pellegrino mineral water, all the way from Italy, at their BBQ's. Don't they???
Tony Abbott, you have my vote. You are a great family man who would serve this country well. I bet the people who criticise Tony for some of his moral views, be them religious or not, are the same people who whinge constantly about the lack of respect children, some adults, and other groups in our society have for fellow humans. Maybe if some of them took a leaf out of Tony's book, society might start to improve a little. Keep up the great work. Thank you.
Mr Abbott is possibly going to be our next PM and as such should act on behalf of all people equally. I understand Mr Abbott has fairly strong religious beliefs not that there is anything wrong with that, but if he is going to run the country then the bible needs to be left at home and not taken into office. After all who is running the country, is it him or the church. The only thing gay and lesbian people want is to be treated fairly and above all else as equals. I did not choose to be gay, I was born this way and as such do not ask for the discrimination the bashings and the exclusion from other benefits that straight people enjoy and can take for granted on a daily basis. Steve Price appeared on the 7PM report a few weeks ago and bagged the Sydney Mardi Gras and after he attend this event he had changed his outlook on it, perhaps more in our community need to take a leaf out of Steves book and go and have a look. Perhaps then people may realise that we are all the same.

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