Todd Muller like Coyote after catching Road Runner: What do I do with it

There is a clip on Youtube of the Coyote after catching the Road Runner.

After all those failures to catch him, the Coyote finally catches the Road Runner. All those many zany attempts have finally come to fruition: from throwing grenades at the Road Runner only for a cacti to catch it and fling it back; from rocket propulsion hoping to catch up only to run into a cliff; the Coyote finally gets his hands (paws?) on the elusive, seemingly unstoppable Road Runner.

But the Coyote has a problem, and one that one might have thought he would have had plenty of time to figure out: if I catch Road Runner what happens next?

Of course, being a children’s programme, the good guy has to get away. But what about in real life?

It would seem that the new National Party leader Todd Muller has the same problem. After all that time strategizing against former leader Simon Bridges, who must be feeling somewhat vindicated at the moment, having secured the prize of Leader of the Opposition, Mr Muller seems to have no idea what to do next.

This, is frankly gobsmacking. After all this time, when he could have been working on a suite of new policies that would bolster the centre-right, and take back some of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s momentum, Mr Muller is no closer to telling us how he intends to lead the country, than – as far as I am concerned – the day he was elected to Parliament.

And there seems to be parallel’s with over seas leaders in this regard as well. Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had a similar problem. After being elected Prime Minister, the Member for Warringah, perhaps best remembered for his budgie briefs, misogynistic attacks on former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and outright denial of climate science, had no idea about how he was going to lead Australia. And thus began several years of internal strife in the Australian Liberal Party that would see Mr Abbott knifed by fellow Liberal Malcolm Turnbull in a desperate attempt to avoid a one term Government. Mr Turnbull would then go on to be knifed after an increasingly ugly feud by current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Muller needs to do three things quickly and he needs to be decisive about them:

  1. Come up with said suite of new policies to revitalize the National Party caucus and grass roots quickly
  2. Clear up what kind of leadership style he wants to take on – will he seek to reassure the public about his social conservatism or will he try to appeal to the more conservative wing of the National Party
  3. Will he learn to read the room and note the mood of the public, or be tone deaf like A.C.T.

Given the mood of the public over COVID19, Black Lives Matter in the United States and the fact that he is dealing with one of the most popular Prime Ministers of all time in New Zealand, Mr Muller has quite the task ahead of him. Mt Jacinda looms large in the distance.


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