Julia Gillard was a rotten Australian prime minister. Clueless, mercurial, distracted, vindictive, tin political ear: Man, did she stink.

So went the conventional wisdom that helped drive the nation's first female leader from office in June. That doesn't even include the sexist whisper campaign against an unmarried, childless, atheist woman.

Or the 2011 television show "At Home With Julia," which depicted Gillard lying naked under an Australian flag after having sex in her office with her hairdresser boyfriend. Or the abiding image of opposition leader Tony Abbott at a Parliament House rally alongside protesters carrying a "Ditch the Witch" banner.