Kristina Keneally is today marking her 100th day as New South Wales Premier.
Last December she took charge of a State Government which had, politically speaking, hit rock bottom.
But the new Premier’s image makers have been hard at work. Since taking office Kristina Keneally has been on a charm offensive.
Her schedule has been relentless; nearly every day there had been at least one media event.
“What has surprised me about the job is how physically demanding it is,” she said.
“I knew that it was a tough job when I took it on.”
To mark her 100th day in the job she is distributing a colourful, glossy brochure.
It includes a timeline with photos of the events she attended since becoming Premier. It was paid for using taxpayer funds.
“The 100 days mark is actually something that dates back to Franklin Roosevelt, and indeed it seems to be something that seems to be celebrated or marked for every new leader,” she said.
Labor Party powerbrokers had hoped Kristina Keneally could turn around the polls for the State Government.
Her personal approval rating is high, but there has been no bounce in the government’s primary vote.
Ms Keneally says despite the poor showing in the polls, her Government can win next year’s election.
“Every election is winnable and every election is losable,” she said. “My focus as Premier is to do my absolute best every day.”
Ms Keneally would not describe her busy media diary as “strategic”.
“I know that people in the media like to describe something as a strategy. It’s simply how I am governing,” she said.
Someone who says there has been a media strategy – and a successful one – is Rod Tiffen, professor of government and international relations at the University of Sydney.
“Clearly there’s a lot of calculation gone into it,” he said.
“But I think it doesn’t matter how much calculation you have if you have got a dud product.
“Her energy and her enthusiasm and her articulateness comes through in the media appearances, so I think a lot of it is down to her.”
But Professor Tiffen said that may not be enough.
“I think the public is very cynical about the Labor Government in New South Wales and I don’t think anything she could do could end that cynicism,” he said.
The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green is also doubtful Ms Keneally will be able to lift the State Government out of the quagmire.
“Kristina Keneally has got some relatively positive ratings as preferred Premier in her first polls, but it has not done a thing for the Labor,” he said.
The State Opposition says despite the change of Premier, it is business as usual for a Labor Government which has been in power since 1995.