Send for Cameron.
The National Party needs him to motivate Melissa Lee, who has curiously expressed her readiness to be satisfied with second place in the Mt Albert byelection.
Second? Might as well finish last, for all the good that comes from finishing in any place but first.
Sure, she’s now saying she’s out to win – but her earlier remarks were clearly those of someone resigned to be an also-ran, and hence were politically damaging. They were disspiriting for party campaigners, too.
National Party candidate for Mt Albert Melissa Lee says she does want to win the by-election, despite earlier saying she was hoping and expecting to come second.
Ms Lee has had a dire campaign after a verbal slip saw her painted a racist when she told a public meeting a new motorway would divert South Auckland criminals past the area.
She was also mired in allegations, which she has now been cleared of, that she wrongly used public funding to make a National Party video.
The latest controversy was sparked by comments on Radio New Zealand this morning when Ms Lee said she did not expect to win the by-election.
Asked if she thought she could come second she said: “I am hoping to. It would be really fantastic if I nudge in a little further as well but I am not expecting to win.
It was always going to be a hard battle.”
Asked directly if she expected to come second she answered: “yes”.
But she has subsequently told NZPA she was talking about the media expectation, not her own.
“I am not in this game to lose,” she said.
NZPA put it to her the radio interviewer did not discuss media expectation around her chances, but asked her for her own opinion.
“I think it was a case of I am expecting to come second, at least,” Ms Lee said.
“I am actually doing the best job I can, I am actually going out meeting the people of Mt Albert. I wouldn’t be spending so much time doing this if I thought I was going to come second.”
It was always going to be a tough battle, but she would not be missing out on spending time with her son if she thought there was no chance of winning.
“I am not putting in all these hours and putting up with media trying to come second, I am not. I am trying to win this damn thing.”
Asked if she was concerned the comment would be seen as another verbal gaffe Ms Lee said the news media were not reporting sentiment in Mt Albert, where people had been sympathetic and supportive.
She thought the news media had been harder on her than other candidates, such as Labour’s David Shearer and Greens co-leader Russel Norman.
But ACT candidate John Boscawen reckons Ms Lee had effectively conceded and he was now the only centre-right candidate.
Not yet, sunshine.
Alf is urging the party to recruit Cameron Morris, an entrepreneur, to help motivate Melissa.
As was posted here this morning, Cameron has returned home after being among the young leaders attending motivation sessions at the 2009 National Young Leaders’ Day.
Cameron Morris, 10, wants to make a million dollars.
Even before listening to boardsailer and ballroom dancer Barbara Kendall’s motivational speech, he knew what was involved in making sure he got it.
“I have pine trees that I’ve planted and I’m going to grow those into Christmas trees and sell them for $20.
”Then I’ll get a rental property, motels and hotels.
“I’ll never give up,” he said determinedly.
Just the bloke to help get the Lee bandwagon back on track – and aiming to take the seat.