Culture

Bill Shorten Has Been Getting Down With The Kids All Week

"Nice to see you, bro" - Bill Shorten (for some reason).

Nothing is a more accurate barometer of personality than watching how someone handles sporadic social interaction. And when you’re on the campaign trail, under the microscope, every handshake counts. So it is with some affection and amusement that we’ve been watching Bill Shorten getting down with the kids over the past few days.

First, he was snapped deftly pulling off an elaborate handshake at a shopping centre in Western Sydney by Fairfax photographer Alex Ellinghausen.

Moments later, it was a seamless “nice to see you bro” to another young admirer. Far from the awkward “zingers” made infamous by Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, it rolled off his tongue like he’s been hanging out at suburban skate parks just to get down with the lingo. (No man over 40 should ever use the word “bro”, but can you even imagine what it would sound like coming out of Malcolm Turnbull’s mouth? Go on, take a second — I’ll wait.)

Then yesterday there was the whole “dabbing” incident, which showed if nothing else, that Shorten has learned his lesson about dancing in public. Remember this incredible moment of dad-dancing from his visit to Kiribati? 

Dabbing, for those not in the know, is a hip-hop dance style that somewhat resembles a move from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. Shorten was enjoying a day of canvassing in the inner-west suburb of Drummoyne when he got chatting to a group of kids who asked him if he knew how to dab.

Thankfully, he let them show him how it’s done — and it was interesting to see how relaxed he was with the little ones. Is the bumbling “bobble-headed” Bill slowly disappearing from his public persona? 


Not to be outdone, here’s Turnbull at the Wyong Markets on the NSW Central Coast. 

Nailed it, bro.

Lead image via Twitter/Young Greens

Claire Connelly is an award-winning freelance writer, journalist and consultant. She writes for The Australian Financial Review, SBS, The Australian, The Age, specialising in finance, technology, economics and policy. She tweets here.