Ardern adulation at Davos but ‘self-awareness and problem-solving sorely lacking’

This isn’t reporting, it is over the top adulation from Joy Reid at 1 News:  Jacinda Ardern has been ‘absolutely phenomenal’ in Europe, generating ‘huge’ media interest

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s performance in Europe has been “absolutely phenomenal”, according to 1 NEWS Europe Correspondent Joy Reid.

The Prime Minister was the big-ticket item in Davos, Reid told TVNZ1’s Breakfast today.

“Everyone has wanted a piece of her, she really has been the big hot ticket over here, especially in Davos, she was invited to all sorts of events, she was also invited to speak on some pretty high-level forums alongside Prince William, alongside David Attenborough,” Reid said.

The Prime Minister’s words were being used by big media outlets to sum up the pro-reform sentiment at the World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland, Reid said.

“The Financial Times has just written a piece summing up Davos, they used the Prime Minister’s quote to end the article, basically saying, ‘we don’t need to start again, but we do need to change the way we do things,’ using her to sum up the entire sentiment of Davos.”

Reid also said there was huge media interest in Ms Ardern.

There has certainly some media interest, especially here in New Zealand, but Ardern hasn’t been the star of the show everywhere. She still doesn’t rate a mention on the Reuters web page covering Davis:

Ardern did get a mention at CNN yesterday but she has disappeared from their page covering Davos today:

CNN’s 5 top moments from Davos 2019

  1. China reassures: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan downplayed fears about his country’s economic slowdown, arguing that growth remains “significant.” “There will be a lot of uncertainties in 2019,” he said. “But something that is certain is that China’s growth will continue and will be sustainable.”
  2. Soros blasts Beijing: George Soros didn’t mince words in a speech on Thursday, calling Chinese President Xi Jinping the “most dangerous enemy” of open societies. “Instead of waging a trade war with practically the whole world, the United States should focus on China,” he said. He also called on the United States “to crack down” on Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE.
  3. No love for AOC’s tax plan: A tax on the rich proposed by US lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was greeted with skepticism by some at Davos. Check out the awkward moment when Michael Dell was asked about it.
  4. Second vote on Brexit? That was the question posed to a large crowd in Davos on Thursday. Almost every hand shot up in support of a second referendum, apart from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who abstained.
  5. The king of conservation sits down with Prince William David Attenborough was one of the stars of this year’s Davos. In an interview on Monday, the naturalist and the British prince discussed the effects humans have had on the natural world since Attenborough started his career six decades ago.

Ardern shared platforms with both Prince William and David Attenborough but is overshadowed by both.

Ardern’s ‘wellbeing budget’ was of interest but perhaps more a curiosity than a revolution in  the making.

Searching Google news for ‘Davos’ gets no mention on Ardern there until the third page, and that links to one Stuff article on her – Jacinda Ardern showcases New Zealand’s wellbeing budget at Davos

While Ardern performed well, the reality is that like New Zealand she is not a big player in world politics and economics.

Davos was a dream for Ardern’s networking and PR, but there are question marks about her self awareness and her actual problem solving skills.

She may measure up, eventually. This year’s first ‘wellbeing budget’ may be the beginning of a real new way of doing economic management with kindness. But Ardern is a long way off being ‘absolutely phenomenal’ as a Prime Minister – and her Government has been far from it this week, with KiwiBuild looking more like a big KiwiBluster and KiwiBumble.