Malcolm Turnbull auditioned to be Prime Minister last night. (And he nailed it).

“Sometimes politicians think they’re reaching out… by dumbing everything down… that disrespects the electorate.”

In the first Q&A episode post ‘The Spill’, political junkies were clinging onto every word from Communications Minister (and future PM material), Malcolm Turnbull. And boy, did he deliver.

In what felt like ‘The Malcolm Show,’ Turnbull was in fine form last night. With his sly jabs at his boss Tony Abbott, and slick confidence, viewers were all thinking the same thing: Mr Turnbull absolutely nailed his Prime Minister of Australia Audition.

If this were A Chorus Line, the director would be jumping up from their seat in the back row shouting “You’re hired, we open in a week”.

Here are our nine top picks of Prime Ministerial-like and general political excellence from the night:

1. On Phillip Ruddock’s sacking… and the ‘Captain’s Call’.

“Look, Tony Abbott, as Philip said, is entitled to appoint and replace the chief whip as and when he wishes, that’s his call but I have to say, I was very sad to see the announcement.

“I’m not going to run a commentary on the Prime Minister’s decisions. Look, he didn’t consult me, I don’t know who he consulted, it is, he is the boss, he is the captain, he can make a captain’s call.”

Read more: The Malcolm Turnbull tweets everyone is talking about.

2. On the slogans his party has become famous (or infamous) for:

“We recognise there are strong arguments on either side but what we as politicians have to do is treat the people with respect. Don’t slogan at them, don’t pretend problems don’t exist.”

3. On the Crappy Budget that outdid all other Crappy Budget’s:

“I think the fact that we haven’t been able to get a lot of this through means that mistakes have been made.

“You have to get your laws through, you have to get the public to accept them, you’ve got to get the Parliament to accept them, we just have to do a better job of advocacy”.

Read more: Let’s face it. We’re all falling a bit in love with Malcolm Turnbull.


4. On the dumbing down of politics (and the need to respect, you know, the people who voted you in).

“You’ve got to explain honestly, not dumbing it down, honestly, the problems that we face. What is the problem with the budget? What is the problem with dealing with the NBN … pick a topic but explain it and lay it out factually and then lay out what the options are.”That would be an intelligent debate which respects the public.

“Sometimes politicians think they’re reaching out to the electorate by dumbing everything down, I think that disrespects the electorate.”


 5. On walking into ‘spill day’. LIKE. A. BOSS.

Lisa Wilkinson, Today Show co-presenter and journalist, asked Malcolm why he went into the leadership spill meeting on his own.

“You looked a bit like Noddy No-friends,” she said.

Mr Turnbull hit back: “I feel safe in Parliament House and I’m quite happy to wander around the corridors by myself”.

‘I’m just doing my own thang’.

 6. On the need for mercy for the Bali 9.

“If I can address this to the Indonesian government – it is not a sign of weakness to spare the lives of these men. Yes, they have committed very terrible crimes. Yes, they knew that the death penalty was there if they were caught and found guilty. But it is not weak to spare their lives. It is a sign of the strongest love, the greatest mercy when you extend it to those who least deserve it.”

 7. On bringing it back to what’s important: Children in detention.

“The real issue here is the children… [We] have reduced the number of children in detention by 90 per cent… Judge us by our actions.”

 8. On slickly avoiding the question on everyone’s lips.

Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, said he believed Tony Abbott had a 50/50 chance of staying as leader, but if he lost support he’d hedge his bets that the party would elect Mr Turnbull to the top job.

Mr Turnbull responded perfectly, “I suspect [the public] have got more important things to worry about”

‘I got this’.

So. There we have it. How did you rate Malcolm’s Prime Minister audition (sorry, #qanda appearance)?

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