Can Kristina Keneally go all the way to the top?

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Contributing editor-at-large, Tess Lawrence, says that despite been handed a poisoned chalice in NSW, Kristina Keneally may one day sip from the sweet cup of national power.

Will Keneally take Gillard out of the frame?

Kristina Keneally may have lost a State but she has gained a Nation.

That's my take on the ready-to-go results of the NSW election and Keneally's announcement that she would not be contesting leadership of the local Labor Party.

She should slip into those killer heels she wears and start the meet'n'greet march to the Opal Office.

Yes, Kristina can do Canberra.

If she's not thinking about it, she should be. If the Labor Party is not thinking about it, it should be.

If Bill is not feeling a bit nervous about Kristina shortening the odds of him ever being sworn in before his mother in law, the very model of a modern Governor General, he should be.

And so should the other architects of the failed Gillard Experiment, like Senator Don Farrell, David Feeney, and Mark Arbib, America's little spy poppet in Oz.

These dudes may very well rue the day they boasted of what has now transpired to be a triumph of dill over will.  And, of course, the little red-headed girl herself is already nervous.

I think that if push came to shove between Kristina and Julia, you would find the gentlemen prefer blonde. And we're not talking small beer here.

When Keneally assumed leadership of the NSW Labor Party, she did so knowing full well she was about to swill from a poisoned chalice. That takes a strong constitution and signals a propensity to bring it on.

Even her frenemies have acknowledged her relentless energy and enthusiasm during the campaign.

At his Victory speech, Barry O'Farrell acknowledged that Keneally was "a skilled communicator" and "energetic campaigner" and referred to 'Hawkie's' description of her last week as "a gutsy performer".

In tomorrow's Independent Australia, managing editor David Donovan's analysis of the election details just how toxic were the contents of that gilded chalice.

"Last night, for the first time in the campaign, Kristina's eyes were bereft of fire."

Often, the measure of one's character is found in a moment of loss.  So it was with Keneally.

She was truthful.  She was loyal to her party.  She was gracious to her opponent, as indeed he was to her.

Last night, for the first time in the campaign, Kristina's eyes were bereft of fire.
"The truth is the people of New South Wales who entrusted us with Government for 16 years did not leave us.  We left them."

Ain't that the truth. Of politics generally and certainly on a national basis.

I'm not talking about the good 'ol days either. I'm talking about the bad new days.

If pollies are not trashing one another, they're busy trashing the electorate and what sometimes masquerades as selective and designer democracy.  
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