1. the sight of the assembled "best and brightest" during the final summing up session appearing to think that it was all an outstandingly worthwhile exercise;
2. Kevin Rudd being so very obviously buoyed by all the love in the room.
I didn't fully appreciate before that the Australian "intelligentsia" (and a considerable number of business leaders as well) were such a needy bunch that this faux act of being "listened to" would make them all swoon. Who knew that the media would (by and large) also roll over?
Of course, the papers are letting their "usual suspects" be as cynical as they like; but there is no doubt that the editorial stance of the Fairfax press in particular has been entirely gullible on the issue of the value and purpose of the exercise. The ABC TV coverage's "bookend" comments that I saw (although I missed most) were so bad they gave the impression that Rudd's PR team had a direct feed into the teleprompt.
Honestly, it has actually felt like watching a insidious process of corruption of the nation.
Maybe my badly shaken faith in the common sense of the people will be partially restored if we get some cynicism reported via some - any - disillusioned attendees over the next few days.
But you know what this whole exercise has made me secretly yearn for? Some actual, immediate crisis or disaster for this PM to have to make a hard decision about; rather than this nauseous concentration on both building up his own profile and defusing potential enemies.
UPDATE: Annabel Crabb has written up the summit as a religious event all about the PM, and this line struck me as the funniest:
On one visit to the Economy group, he [Rudd] arrived among a standing group of summiteers and promptly seated himself on the floor. He did not wash anyone's feet or anything, but the "Suffer the little economists to come unto me" theme was obvious enough nevertheless.