(Finally opened up my spare keyboard and fixed it, so I can type out a few words.)
I've mentioned before our impressive deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (including here and here). I'm not the only one to have perked up, though.
Peter Hartcher, The Sydney Morning Herald's political editor, gave her a warm writeup a few days ago, which placed her star in greater ascendancy than I could have expected.
Her biggest problem is that she comes from the Victorian left of the ALP, and the left would never have the numbers to get up their choice for leader - especially, Hartcher says, due to specific anomosity from the NSW right wing.
However, by Hartcher's account, she has won everyone over with her competence and intelligence. That would not normally be enough for the right wingers, but apparently she has proven her mettle to them by not being beholden to some on the union left (of particular note: standing up to the CFMEU against some of their shoddy practices in the building industry).
Hartcher characterises Gillard as moving from the left more towards the centre in recent times. Regardless,