The crowd included three special people - Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Premier Barry O'Farrell and even former Prime Minister John Howard.
It appears from the various reports I saw that Gillard busied herself supporting the foundation, whilst O'Farrell soaked up the atmosphere and, I expect, posed for photos all day.
|Photo from here|
I should start by acknowledging one thing - politicians may just like doing it. Despite all indications to the contrary, politicians are still human beings who have likes and dislikes. It should be no surprise that, from time to time, they do things they like.
I distinctly remember years ago seeing Kerry Chikarovski at a movie theatre. She was still opposition leader at the time, and had to endure her fair share of head-turning and pointing.
But that is the price you pay for having a public persona, just like sports and movie stars.
O'Farrell regularly tweets about cultural events he has attended. It doesn't seem like an attempt to garner votes or attention - it seems to me like something he does for no reason other than that he enjoys it.
The below photo, taken by my friend @KateHislop shows some of the "indignities" that O'Farrell was subject to.
Of course O'Farrell isn't campaigning for anything at the moment, but he is building his brand as a leader. People remember this stuff.
The problem for politicians is when their attempts to ingratiate themselves backfire. One sporting event that backfired horribly for a politician was this photo:
|Click here for YouTubey goodness|
I don't know how much idea about or interest in cricket O'Farrell has, but if he doesn't know then he was wise to stay away from the commentary box today. Gillard made an appearance - I don't know what she said, but if she pretended to be there for any reason other than to spruik the Jane McGrath Foundation then she would have made a mistake.
Should we cynical about politicians "acting like normal people"? Sure. Everyone knows that Tony Abbott getting a truck licence is a transparent political stunt. That said, Coalition voters don't seem very bothered about those kinds of transparent stunts at the moment, but that's another issue.
But when it sincerely seems like something that the politician wants to do, I think most voters love that kind of thing.
So expect to see more of it.
UPDATE: Barry O'Farrell responded to this post on twitter, so in fairness here is what he had to say: