As Possums Pollytics explains, it’s trying to re-frame the word away from “John Howard is clever” as in “tricky” to “clever policies on climate”.
Word association is a powerful propaganda weapon. Think Beazley and ticker, Keating and elitist, Latham and learner, and now Howard and clever. If the Libs could disassociate the word clever from Howard and re-associate it with climate change policies, not only would they neutralise the ALP attack, but would reduce the power of any residual word association with Howard.
A shame it’s probably way too late to make a difference. Possums also reports on the latest AC Nielsen polls with a simple “Business as usual. Nothing to see here folks, please move on.”
Mr Howard, please just call the bloody election. The longer you leave it now, the more you’re going to piss off the very people you’re trying to impress.