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Lucy Turnbull: The power behind Malcolm

She's smart, she's philanthropic and she has ideas of her own so will the nation warm to Lucy Turnbull?

By Caroline Overington
You get a new Prime Minister, you also get a new First Mate.
In this case, it’s Lucy Turnbull.
It’s too easy to say that there has never been a woman like her in the Lodge but it’s also true.
There’s never been a woman in the Lodge who was also a former Lord Mayor of Sydney.
There’s never been a woman in the Lodge with her own MBA.
Lucy Turnbull is just as smart as her husband, and she’s easily as successful.
But come on now, that’s been the pattern for a while.
Kevin Rudd’s spouse, Therese Rein, was a dynamo. She made a multi-million fortune across two continents, long before he took the Lodge.
Ms Rein can probably also claim the title of First First Lady to Keep Her Own Name.
She was followed into the Lodge by another First, in the form of a bloke, Tim Mathieson.
He was Julia Gillard's First Mate - and the first First Mate not to actually be married to the PM.
Julia Gillard's First Mate, Tim Mathieson and Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein.
Then came Margie Abbott, who was was perhaps the first to publicly say that she didn’t really like that title: First Lady.
Yes, her husband was PM, but she was the director of a child care centre, a job that was an important to her as the Lodge was to him, and she made sure that Tony knew it, and understood it.
Margie also raised three daughters, pretty much single-handedly.
Margie Abbott with daughters Bridget and Francis during Prince Harry's tour Down Under in 2013.
Before Therese, Australia had Janette Howard, and before that, Anita Keating (she reverted to her maiden name after she and Paul separated) and before that, the nation had Hazel Hawke, who was adored; and oh, let’s not forget Margaret Whitlam, who was a gem.
Annita van Iersel, formally Anita Keating, and John and Janette Howard.
As a nation, we’ve been blessed, so much so that when the voters tire of the leader, it's often with regret that the spouse has to go, too.
Bob Hawke and Hazel Hawke.
Will the nation warm to Lucy?
One would certainly think so. She's smart. She's philanthropic. She has ideas of her own. There are kids and a grandchild, and pampered pooches. And before anyone howls: 'We elect the politicians, not their wives!' consider what Malcolm himself has to say about his spouse.
They’ve been together forever (okay, since 1980; they met when Lucy was just 19) which is why he told the Weekly last year that he can’t really think of himself without thinking of her.
"It is almost impossible for me to imagine, let alone remember, what it was like not to be together – so much so that I have a much clearer sense of 'Lucy and me' than I do of 'me'." he said.
"We're very much a team." Like Bill and Hillary .. who served as First Lady, and is now running by herself. Watch this space.
VIDEO: Malcolm Turnbull will challenges Tony Abbott.

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