Ordinary blokes relate to Barnaby
BARNSTORMING Barnaby Joyce for Hinkler?
If the Queensland senator truly has the backing of the federal leadership, it would be a cakewalk to snap up the seat and fulfil his federal ambition.
The acid test is whether Tony Abbott really wants Joyce to descend from the Senate into the House of Representatives.
Joyce wants to be Nationals' leader after Warren Truss and needs a lower house seat to make this possible.
Truss and Joyce might prove uneasy neighbours for this reason but there seems to be a new and gentlemanly spirit governing who runs where in the Liberal and National party.
Joyce would send a ripple through Hinkler. He is often accused of carrying on like a buffoon but his everyman genius is not in doubt.
More than any other politician kicking around, he has mastered the art of the sound bite.
Some of his one-liners are the stuff of legend. He can sell a message and he is not afraid of a brawl.
In an era where politicians have had the personality knocked out of them by the media, Joyce is a stand-out.
He is a bloke the ordinary person relates to. Frequently you can see his ruddy hue deepening as he bites his tongue.
Still, his manner of speaking is direct and this often lards what he has to say with sincerity and commonsense, or at least a veneer of it.
His belligerence, sharp wit and natural sense of theatre would make him a star turn in the rough and tumble world of the lower house.
Are you in politics because your ambition is blunted? Quite the opposite. Nobody who has tasted the thrill of electoral conquest fails to dream of rising higher.
Joyce has had his setbacks. Some inflicted by his own impetuosity and others beyond his control.
There is an air about him now that is far more watchful and less aggressive than his former public persona.
What he has obviously learned is patience. He does not have long to wait in Hinkler, though.
Pre-selection for the seat closes in less than two weeks.