The former US vice-president Walter Mondale once remarked: "Political image is like mixing cement. When it's wet, you can move it around and shape it, but at some point it hardens and there's almost nothing you can do to reshape it." Read moreWhatever your view is about the rest of the opinion piece, this is a most interesting take on Abbott. He's spent years and years in federal parliament, 11 of them with the Howard gov. He's got a long history of being Howard's attack dog, and he's done nothing to curb that image since the last election. Pretty much all he's done is try to undermine the Gillard gov to force an early election (much to his dismay Gillard has been tenacious enough to keep her gov together even with only a knife edge majority relying on independents) and oppose everything of the gov's to try and gain political advantage. This is common knowledge.
Now after all that, only months out from the election, is he surely suggesting that a bit of media magic is going to reshape his image that he's spent 20 years or so cementing? I'd guess the cement is well and truly dry by now.
Reminds me a bit of Mad Mitt in the US, how he went all hard line far right loony tunes at the start of his campaign (making himself a world laughing stock BTW) and then near the election he tried to make himself more moderate. I may be wrong from over here, but the fact that he was decisively defeated certainly suggests that the American voters didn't buy it.
Abbot's going to need more than just a bit of media magic here. More like a new cement mixer.