MR Prime Minister, we need to talk.
Since taking over the top job last month, you have done an admirable job of letting the Australian public get to know who you really are.
What we’ve seen is a league-loving, cap-wearing, church-going Sharks fan and family man from the Shire.
That won’t appeal to everyone, but you can’t change who you are. And the best advice for any leader is to simply be themselves, to be the person that got you to the top job in the first place.
But one thing from your past has got to go – that terrible nickname ScoMo.
It was never really yours to start with; rather, it was a name given to you by journalists, more in fun than fandom.
It never really worked and most of cringed a little at the sight of the former PM jokingly calling his treasurer ScoMo in front of the nation’s press gallery.
Don’t worry, we understand the temptation for politicians to adopt a nickname they believe might make them more approachable to voters – particularly those younger voters who can be difficult to engage.
In a world of J.Lo, A.Rod and even Brangelina, we can see that politicians might equate a snappy nickname to some sort of popularity.
But the cross-over between the worlds of politics and celebrity rarely produces any real winners, especially in the decidedly glamour-free surrounds of Canberra.
You’re not the first to make this mistake, Mr Prime Minister, and you won’t be the last. But can we at least learn from past failures.
Kevin07 worked brilliantly for Kevin Rudd when he was still the opposition leader experimenting with a new brand of Australian politics. Like ScoMo, the nickname was short, sharp and it rhymed.
The nickname probably even won him a few extra votes on the way to The Lodge but quickly lost its lustre after that.
Somewhere along the way it morphed into “I’m Kevin and I’m here to help”, and that didn’t appeal to anyone.
So now you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career, it’s time to stop being someone you really aren’t. And you really aren’t a ScoMo.
More than ever, Australians need to know who our leaders are and what they stand for.
If they like what they see, well and good. If they don’t, then at least they have genuine reasons for the decisions they make.