Why is Anthony Albanese the right person to be leader of the Australian Labor Party, and what does he have that his opponent, Bill Shorten doesn't? On the face of it, Shorten is every bit as combative and quick on his feet as 'Albo'. Like Albanese he has excellent communication skills, long service in the labour movement and support in the caucus, especially from the powerful Victorian-Right faction. He has proven negotiation skills and a solid grasp of policy detail. So what is it that Albo's got that Shorten doesn't?
Albanese has the PEOPLE behind him. It's as simple as that. A rarity in politics, Albo is universally liked by all party members from rank and file upwards, and even by those in the LNP. But most importantly it is the electorate that warms to his folksky, straight talking demeanour. Furthermore he is ideally suited to take on Prime Minister-Elect, Tony Abbott, whose lack of repartee and street cred would become obvious over time. As tough as Abbott is in the parliament, Albanese is a match for him. What Shorten lacks is trust from the electorate. Abbott also lacks trust. Albanese on the other hand has no credibility issues at all, no bloodied knife hidden behind his back and no natural enemies.
For the sake of the party and a quick leadership transition, Bill Shorten should strike a deal with Albanese not to contest him in a ballot. Preferably he should accept either the position of Shadow Treasurer or Deputy Leader of the Opposition. This will kill off any chance of the Abbott government criticising Labor for being divided.
Albo will have a huge job pegging back the LNP's huge margin come the next election in three years time but it's not impossible, and if anyone can do it, he can. There is a feel about him, a sense of someone who wouldn't be out of place in a Curtin or Chifley front bench back in the 40s/50s. Albo has authenticity, just what the doctor ordered for Labor and the Australian people.