Former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s daughter wants to stand up to the bullies who “cut down” a man who worked his “guts” out for the country.
In a 1,300-word article for women’s magazine Madison, Jessica Rudd defends her dad who she says is driven by compassion and empathy and is not an angry man.
“When people sledge him, I want to sledge them,” she writes. “Intellectually I understand it’s just the nature of public life but it’s hard to see someone you love who has worked their guts out for something get cut down.”
Jessica has brought forward the launch of her debut novel Campaign Ruby to August 16 to capitalise on the election hype.
The book is published by Text Publishing and will be launched in Brisbane. Jessica says she feels blessed to have Kevin Rudd as a father and shared his pain when he faced the media for his final press conference as prime minister.
“As I stood beside him … I was proud of him, never prouder in fact,” she says. “He stood at the lectern … as a compassionate statesman.
“I lost it. Mascara streamed down my face like diluted squid ink – waterproof my arse.”
She writes about her early years as a baby in China while her father was serving as a diplomat there.
“People see it as a negative that he doesn’t sleep much, but mum reckons she struck gold in the co-parent department,” Jessica writes.
“Dad could do the night shift and not be shattered in the morning.”
Jessica says her father was a reluctant driving instructor and had to go next door and explain to the neighbours when she accidentally reversed into their car.
A spokesman for Mr Rudd told AAP he was “recovering well” in hospital after an operation to remove his gall bladder.