OPINION: It’s been a remarkable week-long honeymoon for new National Party leader Christopher Luxon.
Who would have guessed that he would’ve turned the party’s fortunes around in such a short space of time.
It’s been just a week that he’s been sitting in the driver’s seat.
And yet in that week, he’s proved a lot of people wrong. Including me.
Wrong that he was too politically inexperienced.
Wrong that he wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Wrong that his rise to power has come too early.
The way he’s handled himself, and the criticism, and the barrage of questions about his faith, and his fortune, and his morals has surprised me.
He’s handled it like someone who’s been preparing for this job for more than a few days, or a few months.
He’s fronted, he’s answered questions, he’s been attacked for his homes and his belief that abortion is murder.
And he’s faced that criticism really well.
He’s coming across as smart and likable and he’s been in the headlines almost every day.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday he was everywhere because he’d just been elected.
Thursday he announced Bridges would be his Finance Spokesperson.
Friday he was walking around Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour talking with hospitality businesses who finally got to open.
Saturday he was The Nation.
Sunday he was on Q&A.
Yesterday he was unveiling his front bench lineup.
Today is his debut in the Debating Chamber with the Prime Minister.
He’s saturated media coverage, and while not all of it has been positive, it’s getting his name and his face out there.
And the way he’s acted is not like someone who’s been thrust into the role, but like someone who’s meticulously prepared for this eventuality.
It feels like he has a plan and a strategy and he’s had it sitting there ready to hit GO.
While his performance in the Debating Chamber needs work, he’ll get there eventually.
This is a job he’s wanted for a long time, and like the Boeing 777s he used to run, he’s in this game for the long haul.
He wants to take Kiwis on a journey. A journey where they’ll get to know him. And I think they’ll like him.
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