Liberals lampoon Latham's Liverpool legacy

Sunday morning the Liberals launched a new TV ad, which presumably will be followed by print and potentially billboards, focussing on Latham's inexperience and implying that he'll have his 'L Plates' on when he gets into Government. The ad piles on some of the evidence from his time on Liverpool council, but the fear in the ad runs deeper than that; it implies that Latham is not a safe pair of hands. For now the message simply focussed on economic management, but it is not exactly a chasmic leap to imagine the message will spread to national security and refugees (remember them?) as areas where Latham is a dangerous choice.

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It's a clever strategy from the Liberals, and one that many suspected. Howard is old, boring and stuffy... or wise, experienced and reliable, depending on your viewpoint. The way that the strategy works is that on the surface it may be a straight-out attack ad, but in reality it is designed to highlight Latham's weaknesses in areas where Howard is strong. Given events around the world, an recently reinforced in Indonesia, voters are becoming more and more risk-averse, and hence more inclined to support the incumbant.

There is a lot of trust involved in being the challenger, as Latham is, and asking people to let you run the joint. If people are feeling at all insecure, they'll stick to the bloke in charge at the moment. The Liberals know that, are hence are playing up the threat, and playing down the ability of their opponent. And it'll work.

UPDATE (23/9, 3:12am): The Learner Latham has indeed made an appearance on a billboard, in this case on one of the most prominant bits of advertising real estate in Melbourne. On the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets, directly opposite the Nike (boo hiss) site, a shifty looking Latham stares ominously over the passing throng. Ouch.

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