Election campaigns are strange beasts, and for those involved in one it’s a time unlike any other.
It’s the sort of period when the Prime Minister is unlikely to be across the minutiae of where he’ll be at any given minute of the day.
Which is probably how Malcolm Turnbull ended up having lunch at an exclusive gentleman’s club in Melbourne today.
Buzzfeed confirmed Mr Turnbull dined at the Athenaeum Club on Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne. It’s one of the last strongholds of institutionalised misogyny, the kind of place where women still aren’t truly welcome.
Though they are described on their website as “one of Australia’s oldest and finest clubs, confident in its heritage and traditions, yet enlightened and contemporary in its outlook”, the Athenaeum will only allow women as guests. Membership of the club is still only open to men .
— Richard Willingham (@rwillingham) May 12, 2016
Right now, in this first week of the election campaign, it’s highly likely that Malcolm Turnbull has very little control over his movements.
That’s a strange thing to suggest about a Prime Minister, arguably the most powerful person in the country. Surely this is a person who can yay or nay a lunch venue. But in the hustle and bustle of being on the road during an election campaign the Prime Minister’s time is not his own.
His day, as is the the Opposition Leader’s, is carefully constructed by a huge team of people. Most everyone involved in an election campaign has a slice of this pie.
There are the local candidates who bid and jostle to get a slot in the Prime Minister’s diary. The Prime Minister travels with a media pack, and with that comes a priceless moment of national exposure for a candidate who, come election day, relies mostly on name recognition to pick up votes.