Only a year ago, Australia's approach to the Prime Minister was 'Bugger Off', Kevin Rudd's recent overseas trip has highlighted somewhat of a policy shift.
He began by earnestly promising that 'Australia would be a strong voice in the international community', and that made us all feel important. It harks back to the days where politicians would promise to 'put Australia on the map'.
But the 'Ruddster', the 'Ruddinator', or the 'Kevin07 express' (I don't think the media has settled on a nickname yet), has been flaunting his new government to anybody who would listen to him.
During his trip to the US, he 'jokingly' saluted George W Bush (I'm sure they enjoyed a 'short and jocular conversation' too) and the next day spoke at a progressive politics summit with Bill Clinton in attendance. I'm sure that I don't need to explain the irony.
Next, he was on his way to London, talking the weather with the Queen, where the fleet street press treated him as a shiny new toy to rave about, and he was reported to receive a 'rockstar' reception at an economics school. The fact that the majority of the audience were ex-pats went somewhat unreported by the media.
Next, he was off to China to face up to the Goliath of the 'Tibet issue', all while speaking Mandarin (OMG! He speaks Mandarin!). He was portrayed as the only world leader able to stand up to the Chinese on the Tibet issue. The fact that the Chinese were unmoved by his expert diplomacy was kinda...glossed over. The point was that he tried dammit! The Mighty Queenslander stood up to the Colossal Hu Jintao!
It seems that the honeymoon period for Kevin Rudd is far from being over. The media seem to want to worship him as their personal messiah, and the opposition hardly rate a mention in the daily news (You know, apart from Dr Nelson being Mr Popularity).
My question is this, when does the honeymoon period end? When does the current government stop blaming the actions of the Howard government for the current financial position Australia is in? It's an old trick in transitional government, but the media haven't picked up the Rudd governement for exploiting it yet.
I'm by no means a Howard fan, and I'd love to tell him where to shove that crystal bowl he got from the Evil Conservatives Club that Eat Babies. But, the ride that Kevin Rudd has gotten so far remains a joke.
So how long does the media plan on extending his honeymoon period? One year, two years, until he dies from too much arse-kissing?
Only time will tell.