October 02, 2014
Wife ‘tweeting’ may cost Cunliffe
Wife 'tweeting' may cost Cunliffe
Karen Price, the wife of embattled MP David Cunliffe may have just cost her man any chance of again taking over as leader of the under-pressure Labour party.
What Karen Price, an environmental lawyer, did wasn’t a criminal offence. But using an anonymous twitter account to criticise journalists and rivals of her hubby’s is likely to be the straw that breaks Cunliffe’s political comeback.
Up until Price’s tweeting was exposed, Cunliffe was very much a contender to win back the leadership of Labour. His opponents are Grant Robertson and possibly former leader David Shearer. To be fair all three lack the X-factor, but Cunliffe exudes more confidence than the other two.
Price admitted she set up the Twitter handle @TarnBaby67 out of "extreme frustration" after the election and had used it to make comments that she now deeply regretted.
She criticised the Herald for publishing pictures of her husband after the election defeat, and later attacked his caucus opponents Trevor Mallard, Clayton Cosgrove and Grant Robertson.
The story was broken by award winning journalist Andrea Vance, a very capable reporter, who herself was in the news earlier this year after she published the findings of the Kitteridge report on the Government Communications Security Bureau, that it may have unlawfully spied on 85 people, before its release.
The real story was where Vance got her information from. She never disclosed her source but United Leader Peter Dunne later resigned his ministerial portfolio.
The Price situation is sad because you have to admire her for sticking up for her husband. We’d all like to think our wives and partners would do the same for us.
But what her actions have inadvertently done has probably brought down the curtains on her husband’s political aspirations and brought her family into the headlines instead.
Cunliffe had almost ridden out the fallout from the election from within Labour and was leaving the leadership debate up to the party faithful.
Politicians are tough nuts and will play hard ball against other politicians. Spouses and children of MPs are usually off limits, because while MPs choose the public life, their partners often are victims of the lifestyle.
I can’t imagine John Key’s wife Bronagh taking to the Social Media no matter what people were saying about her husband.
So while it may well have been a Freudian slip on the tweet by Price that could well see Cunliffe’s chances of winning the leadership battle head down the gurgler.
The reality is for Cunliffe right now, the Price is not right and the man who wanted to become Prime Minister of New Zealand, may just have to slip back into life as a normal citizen.
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