Australia prime minister: I’m a very good wizard. I’m just a very bad communicator.

Vital Speeches‘ Australia correspondent Rodney Gray keeps us posted on the tortured language of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Now, deep into his first term and with his popularity flagging, Rudd is “doing the political mea culpa thing at present,” Gray writes.

Mostly, what Rudd is saying is, essentially that his failure thus far has been one of communication, not politics or policy. He told the Australian Associated Press:

I think it’s also fair to say, in terms of one of the other criticisms made of yours truly, as I am probably not the world’s best communicator. (I) take that on the chin. Someone said to me the other day, when it comes to communication, I think it’s fair to say that as a communicator I make a first-class policy wonk—I kind of get that. I understand the criticism. But you know something, I don’t think in this business you get judged in the end on the basis of the quality of your one-liners. You get judged on the basis of whether you have delivered on the ground, on the basics.

If he really thinks of communication as a series of “one-liners,” I think we’ve got the problem identified already. But much more likely, this is a disingenuous apology and an implied promise to try to change his style so his constituents will come to appreciate his substance.

It’s not the way to bet.

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