NOOSA – Jason Clare, the Labor Party member for Paul Keating’s former seat of Blaxland in Sydney’s west, has leaped to national prominence in Australia after stellar performances as party spokesman in the current election campaign.
Or that's how it may appear. But Clare became a minister early in his political career, was mooted as a potential prime minister in 2013, and since then has occupied a firm position as both a shadow minister and a senior member of Labor’s shadow cabinet.
But there can be no doubt that after his recent very compelling performances, Clare has emerged in the public eye as a future national leader.
Maybe after Anthony ‘Albo’ Albanese serves a term or two.
These performances included as warm-up man at yesterday Labor Party election campaign launch, when he delivered a quip-laden speech reminiscent of the great repartee of Keating in full flight.
Some of Jason Clare’s zingers
“Morrison is all tinsel, no tree."
"Nothing about this bloke is real, except his ability to let you down"
“Australians know Scott Morrison too well”
“A prime minister who thinks his job is to dress up pretending to do other people's jobs"
"We're the party that turns the Australia of your imagination into something real”
“Australian Labor is led by a man who didn't make up his own nickname"
"Half the Liberal Party think climate change is what happens when you go to Hawaii for a holiday"
"He thinks climate change is when you check out the April sun in Cuba."
"A prime minister who thinks the way to win the trust of Pacific nations is to play the ukulele"
"Scott Morrison made 50 phone calls to get Mathias Cormann a job at the OECD but he couldn't pick up the phone to talk to the Solomon Islands when they were on the verge of signing a security package with China"
“You’ve got the foreign minister of Australia hiding under her desk with the phone pulled out and they send some bloke called Zed. Is this Pulp Fiction or national security?”
“The Coalition MPs are all in witness protection, and where is Alan Tudge?”
“I don't think even Scooby-Doo can find Alan Tudge at the moment”
“You’d need the Hubble telescope to find him”
Clare, who had just turned 50, is a Sydney westie born and bred.
He was the dux of Canley Vale High School in 1989 and joined the Labor Party immediately upon leaving school, serving as secretary of the Cabramatta Branch from 1992 to 2002.
He emerged from the University of NSW with a BA (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws and in 1995 quickly found a job as a policy adviser to the NSW Police Minister for from 1995.
By 1999, he’d impressed NSW Premier Bob Carr enough to be appointed as his senior policy adviser.
In 2003 Clare decided to gain some experience slightly outside politics and spent four years as corporate relations manager of Transurban, one of the world’s largest toll road operators company that manages and develops urban toll road networks in Australia, Canada and the United States.
By 2007, he was ready for parliament and, after an intense preselection struggle, became Labor’s candidate for the safe seat of Blaxland in the triumphal Kevin Rudd election that year.
By 2011 he was Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice and has been a shadow minister since Labor lost power in 2013.
He is currently Shadow Minister for Housing and Shadow Minister for Regional Services.
Following his recent impressive public performances, he has been discovered by a starstruck Sky News.
“Move over hot Albo, there’s a new Labor poster boy on the scene, Captain Handsome Jason Clare,” enthused a recent news (sic) item.
“Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s week-long absence barely registered with some voters who swooned over the performance of Labor's campaign spokesperson.
“Mr Clare had already set hearts racing prior to Mr Albanese’s Covid isolation but again had viewers frothing over his good looks and confident performance in a press conference on Thursday.”
And for any readers who may be interested in following Jason Clare’s future career, he joined Twitter a month ahead of me in November 2009 and can be found and followed at @JasonClareMP.
His handle states he is “Atticus & Jack's dad. Louise's husband. MP. Cricket Tragic. Pearl Jam fan. Star Wars kid.”