"When will the election be held?"
The previous Prime Minister had set the date at September 14th. She did that some months back - apparently giving away one of the "advantages" of being able to surprise her opponents. The "new" Prime Minister does not need to stay with that date - and has already indicated he will not.
His response in parliament to a question about a possible election date was as follows, "As the honourable gentleman knows the timing of the election is governed by the Australian Constitution. It is worth taking a look at that document, as it is the law which governs all Australians. I draw his attention to facts which are material to the consideration of the government. I will therefore go through these issues with my cabinet colleagues and the Leader of the Opposition can be assured, there's going to be an election. It will be held consistent with the Constitution..."
And so he went on. Naturally he failed to answer the question. The Leader of the Opposition would not have expected him to answer the question but all Mr Rudd needed to say was, "I cannot answer that question yet. I will answer it when I have met with my cabinet colleagues."
Mr Rudd does not answer questions if he can avoid it. He is a master of "polly-speak". I doubt there is a politician to rival him anywhere in the world.
And there is an added problem right now. Mr Rudd can actually do very little. He cannot make changes to anything which requires the approval of parliament. This is because he would require the support of the "independents" to do that. He does not have an absolute majority.
What he does have, when he gets it together, is a cabinet which has lost some of Labor's most experienced politicians. Some were intending to retire anyway. Others chose to go when he was re-elected by the caucus. Some may have lost their seats anyway but others may have retained theirs. Still others, who are putting their hands up for re-election, are saying they cannot work with him.
It is hardly a ringing endorsement. He is a "Prime Minister" in caretaker mode.
I suspect however that he already has his diary organised so he can go to the G20 summit and dates pencilled in for potential trips to Indonesia, China and the United States.
There has been a surge of support for him in the polls - for now. He will probably go to an earlier election to try and capitalise on that but it does not bode well for the future.
He has not changed. Nothing has changed. It just seems to have changed - and that may be enough for many.