Kevin Rudd comes from a diplomat background, so it's no surprise he said that he talked to the US President, the UK Prime Minister, and the Indonesian President in his first 24 hours as Prime Minister. It's an unequivocal call of direction, which clarity of engagement - the message good or bad aside - bodes well for Australia's international reputation.
Peter Costello was haunted by Keating's ghost, which gave him a lesson on the seizing of power from the backbench, after an agreement reneged: Don't do it. Unfortunately, there's a greater message in those who do it, and ignore prophesy.
The presidential trend in campaigning may not get any better. I suspect it's related to the trend I mentioned a few days ago, to a less partisan electorate over the past 40 years.