Appealing to people power: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outside Nyanda State High School in the seat of Moreton. Photo: Andrew Meares
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stepped up to a makeshift podium made of packing crates before a cheering crowd.
''I believe in the power of the Australian people,'' he said. ''I believe in the power of the Queensland people.
''Way above the media ruck, way above the avalanche of Liberal Party advertising across the television screens, way above what you will see with day after day, people telling you what the polls say here and the polls say there, I believe in the power of the Australian people.''
The Prime Minister's campaign style on day 16 of his fight to retain power was a curious mix of presidential and grassroots campaigning.
Outside Nyanda State High School, in the seat of Moreton in Brisbane - held by Graham Perrett with a margin of 1.1 per cent in 2010 - about 200 residents rallied in support of their school. The school, which educates 300 children and includes special needs programs, has been identified for review by Campbell Newman's Liberal National Party government.
They gave a rousing reception to Mr Rudd, Mr Perrett and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, who has lent her support to Mr Rudd's campaign in Brisbane for the past two days and decried the ''culture of cuts'' introduced by conservative governments.
''Don't let Tony Abbott do to Australia what Campbell Newman did to Queensland,'' Ms Plibersek said to rousing applause.
Despite schools administration being a state concern, Ms Plibersek and Mr Perrett laboured their point over and over again: Mr Newman had made cuts to education in Queensland, Jeff Kennett had closed schools and sacked teachers in Victoria, do not trust the Opposition Leader not to do the same if he wins the election.
Team Rudd spent Tuesday campaigning on education, after pushing hard on health on Monday. It is playing to Labor's strengths, particularly in Queensland, which has had the public service cuts under the Newman government (even though Team Abbott does not have the power to make wholesale cuts to state education even if it wanted to).
By the time Mr Rudd took to the stage, the crowd was in his hand and smilingly forgave his blunder when he said that his team was in town to make sure ''that this school, which has been here for 16 years, is here for 60 years''.
Oblivious to supporters in the crowd shouting that the school actually turns 60 next year, he carried on.
''When I look across Queensland, I look across Australia, what I believe we need to be doing is building the schools of the future,'' he said.
No one at Nyanda would disagree with that.
''People look in the eyes of their kids and say 'there's my future, there's what I want for this young person','' Mr Rudd said.
Turning to point at a young girl in the crowd, Mr Rudd said: ''Listen, I want her to be a doctor.''
Then he pointed at another girl, saying he wanted her to be a nurse.
''I want this young boy over here to be a first-class sports star,'' Mr Rudd said. ''I want this person to be a researcher in molecular science. I want this person over here to be a vet.''
As each child was anointed with their prime ministerially chosen future profession, they visibly swelled. Even the boy - ''that's you, mate'' - who Mr Rudd wanted to become ''the best PE instructor the country's ever seen''.