Jacinda wins 2020… by getting engaged

These days, we trust journalists less and less, finding them to be the profession least worthy of any kind of respect. It is clear however, that this relationship cuts both ways. Tracey Watkins, a political editor of some years’ experience, honestly seems to think that Jacinda announcing her engagement, and presumably preparing for an election year wedding, will win the election as a result.

A political journalist wrote this article. quote.

National leader Simon Bridges must be experiencing a familiar sinking feeling after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s engagement news.

He is getting far too used to being upstaged by Ardern.

National’s hopes of this being a one-term government must surely be fading. Election-year wedding, anyone?


end quote.

I will say this again, because I can’t quite believe it myself: Tracy Watkins, a political journalist of many years experience, seriously thinks that Jacinda will win the election next year because she is getting married?

Even if she does plan her wedding 3 weeks out from the election, does Tracy seriously think that voters will cast their votes for the incumbent government just because of the prime minister’s wedding? That all of the things that matter to us all in a government, such as economic matters, taxation policy, environmental issues, education, health and all the broken promises over housing, will all fade away in a heartbeat because Jacinda dons a wedding dress?

After all, she is the master of dress-ups and photo opportunities isn’t she?

If the voters of New Zealand really are that stupid then there is truly no hope for any of us. But I don’t believe that. Not for one second.

The other thing about this article by Tracy Watkins is that for some reason, she thinks Jacinda’s engagement ‘upstages’ Simon Bridges.

In case Tracy didn’t realise it, Simon has been engaged, is married and has 3 children. So how exactly is Jacinda ‘upstaging’ him here? Unless, of course, she thinks that National will now lose the next election because of Jacinda’s wedding – which clearly she does.

The only way that Jacinda could realistically make the wedding work for her in the election, is if she were to hold a very big public wedding during the election campaign. Then she would risk a significant backlash as voters recognised that she was using her own personal situation purely to get votes. That could mean that she would lose as many votes as she gained. But the other aspect to consider here is that, if she is tied up with her wedding during the election campaign, who then runs it for Labour? Grant Robertson? Andrew Little? Phil Twyford?

You see the problem, don’t you?

Think back to last year’s Royal Wedding. Yes, I watched the whole thing. It was lovely. Fabulous weather, beautiful bride, an open horse drawn carriage… it was everything that the Royals do very well indeed. But 2 weeks later, I had mostly forgotten about it. That is Jacinda’s problem. The fairy dust doesn’t last, particularly if Judith Collins is in the media every day during the election campaign talking about the spectacular failure that Kiwibuild has become.

No amount of confetti will fix that for people trying to get into their first home.

There is another problem with this engagement announcement. It is extremely low key. Apparently, they got engaged at Easter, and the public announcement was saved until the Pike River re-entry had to be postponed for almost 2 weeks. But there are no new photos, no pictures of a flashing diamond or emerald, and little comment from the prime minister herself. Maybe they are under a hugely lucrative contract with a women’s magazine to keep quiet until the official photos come out in the next few weeks in Woman’s Day or wherever.

Teensy problem there, Jacinda. Approximately 50% of voters are men who do not read women’s magazines. Add to that the 75% of women who don’t read them either, and the lack of mainstream media photos and publication of old photos does no one any favours.

Personally, I bear her no ill will, although there were rumours swirling at Christmas about Clarke and Jacinda’s split, and there have been few photos of them together since then, so something here does not seem quite right. Forgive me for being a cynic, but this would seem to have been wheeled out to take the attention away from the chronic failure of the Pike River re-entry. We all have a fair idea now that it will never go ahead, because of… you guessed it… safety reasons.

Where have I heard that before? And who was it that was pilloried for it?

Never mind. LOOK over there… an engagement ring!