Francis Vierboom's Blog

A blog about things. Mostly news, ideas, and Sydney

Comparing the Australian and US versions of popular reality TV show ‘Federal Politics’

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1. Kevin Andrews and Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and Kevin Andrews, as I mentioned in the last post, probably line up most of all because of the fact that the opposing party would just love for them to become leaders, and both think that they could. Kevin is an incompetent liar and politically damaged goods, Sarah is a habitual liar (warning: Sullivan link) and politically damaged goods.

Nevertheless the parallels probably end there. Palin has an actual following, is a lot better known and seems to know next to nothing about politics. Andrews couldn’t get by on the front bench in government without at least soaking up some kind of policy awareness and the ability to stare down Big Red.

2. Michelle Bachmann and Wilson ‘Ironbar’ Tuckey

The quintessential ‘loose cannon’ conservatives, trading on their ‘outside the beltway’ and ‘common sense’ (in the Glenn Beck sense) opinions. Tuckey occasionally sticks it to the Liberals on something I agree with, say Telstra, but in recent months all the good quotes have been based on his climate change denialism.

Bachmann is a lot more ideological than Tuckey, and(/or) a good deal more cynical and ambitious. Tuckey is better known for actually winning real concessions for his rural constituents, and really likes nothing more than getting a laugh in question time. There is probably another US politician in the House with the larrikin rural image that I just don’t know. But both certainly add some colour to politics.

3. Nancy Pelosi and Julia Gillard

Two powerful and clever women who tend to be disliked mostly by people who have never listened to them speak. Julia will probably be prime minister in 4-5 years time, although I’ve don’t think I’ve heard anyone suggest a Pelosi run for president.

4. Harry Reid (D-NV, Senate Majority Leader) and Kevin Rudd

They look somewhat alike, they are both vaguely awkward on camera, and they kind of irritate their own supporters by seeming to cave to their opponents too easily. But they win elections (although perhaps not Reid for long) and they seem to be getting results… slowly… maybe.

5. Chuck Schumer (Senator D-NY) and Tanya Plibersek (Labor front bench, member for Sydney)

Two good looking and very effective politicians from very safe seats on their way up.

6. Malcolm Turnbull and Mitt Romney

Both extraordinarily rich, both with a past that suggests they could be fairly good leaders, and both desperately veering to the right to try and convince people they’re not a mole from the other party. And both likely to end up as the scapegoats as they lead their party to an election they know they can’t win in the coming few years.

7. Mike Huckabee and Tony Abbott

Huckabee is a lot more endearing on TV than People Skills Tony, but I don’t think Tony is actually all that charmless, and is reportedly quite popular in the Canberra press gallery. Both carry the banner for the religious base in their party and both would lead entertaining but futile election campaigns, and for that reason I don’t think either will ever actually get chosen by their own parties. But who knows – Labor picked Mark Latham once.

8. Dick Cheney and Nick Minchin

Luckily for the planet there can only be two dark Sith lords at one time.

Who else is there? Right now I can’t think of matches for Hillary, Joe Hockey (Huckabee was tempting), Christopher Pyne (gay rumours – Charlie Crist?), Joe Biden, McCain, Penny Wong, or, obviously, Obama. Rudd seemed a bit like Obama on election night in 07, and then perhaps in the Sorry speech, but that was probably the last time.

Written by Francis

November 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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