ONE of the defining moments of the 2004 election campaign came when Mark Latham ducked out the back door of a building in Hobart to avoid facing angry Tasmanian
Kevin Rudd did not resort to sneaking out of rear entrances when he went to Hobart on Thursday, but he was dodging an unpleasant duty just the same.
The Prime Minister had left junior climate change minister Greg Combet behind in Canberra to face the music alone over the scrapping of the botched home insulation scheme.
Poor sad-faced Combet, whose only role with the scheme has been to try to clean up the mess others made, was given a torrid time by the Parliamentary press gallery.
Down in Tassie, Rudd simply walked away when journalists tried to ask questions on the issue. It was not an edifying sight.
Rudd could not have done more to consolidate a growing reputation for announcing good news and passing the buck when things go bad.
Tony Abbott questions whether the Health system should be run by such incompetents.
But even without the PM's involvement, the insulation scheme announcement diverted attention away from health and back on to other areas much less electorally comfortable for the Government.
It also gave new weight to the most effective of the arguments Abbott has been using to undermine the PM's credibility on health reform - how can a Government that bungles something as simple as putting pink batts in roofs be trusted with fixing a complex health system?
I guess for those not into Gilbert and Sullivan a verse from Lil Abner would also be very appropriate!
Barnaby Joyce would definitely sing along with that one!