The parallels between the US and Australia are remarkable.
In the "elected" corner: We have two leaders who are smooth talking, have more spin than substance, got elected by appearing centrist but are ultimately left, and who think that apologising for what other people have allegedly done somehow constitutes courage on their part.
In the "opposing" corner: We have two figures who are maligned and even sexually vilified by a mass media who throw away their own rulebook on tolerance in the process. They apologise for their own shortcomings rather than others', don't apologise for speaking the truth, and take a stand on issues rather than skirt around them in constant campaign mode.
The rather savvy Lloyd Marcus sums it up at American Thinker:
We the people are so sick of namby pamby "middle of the road speak" focus group-tested candidates. "Don't say this because you will offend this crowd and don't say that because you will offend the other." For crying out loud, just say what you mean and mean what you say. Show us voters who you are. These are the kind of candidates we voters are longing and tea partying for. And this is why Sarah "what you see is what you get" Palin is a rock star.
We The People. I love those words.
When previously dormant voters see someone of true character, in begins to show up in those not-conclusive-but-compelling approval ratings. It's started happening to Obama. Up to now, Rudd has been shielded by the clear absence of a formidable opponent, or more accurately, by an opposition leader who was actually his clone.
I expect to see that change now. Watch those annoying-but-interesting polls.