Who are you when (you think) no one is looking?

"Maybe if I imitate Mussolini I'll gain the student vote!"
“Maybe if I imitate one of these chaps I’ll gain more respect!”

Of course, we all have our moments, and none of us is perfect, but our politicians, being constantly in the spotlight throughout election campaigns, have a hard job maintaining their cool under pressure, it seems.

Mr Abbott, frustrated by Mr Rudd’s inability to end a sentence, wondered aloud if he’d ever shut up, which was greeted by the left as rude, and by the rest as relevant.

Mr Rudd, on the other hand, is now being called Mr Rude after a couple of alleged incidents which have reminded people of his previous ‘charm’ offensives, alongside some of the crushing comments made by former colleagues, who refuse to ever work with him again, about his general demeanour behind the scenes away from the cameras.

Is this the real Mr Rudd, or is it just the pressure of being in the spotlight 24/7 and fighting an election for the person and team which can… well… maintain it’s cool under pressure?

Is he the nice fellow we see on TV most of the time, or the grumpy old man behind the scenes? Is Mr Abbott really a misogynist, or do the women in his life, like his wife, daughters, deputy and operations chief declare him to be good around women?

What do women say about these leaders?

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he was “in the zone” when he’s alleged to have been rude to a makeup artist and has chalked up her Facebook attack to a misunderstanding.

Freelance makeup artist Lily Fontana did Mr Rudd’s makeup before the second leaders’ debate in Brisbane on Wednesday and later said she’d never had a client treat her so badly.

Ms Fontana took to Facebook to compare her interactions with Mr Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

“One of them was absolutely lovely, engaged in genuine conversation with me, acknowledge(d) that I had a job to do and was very appreciative,” she said on her page, which is public.

“The other did the exact opposite!

“Oh boy, I have (n)ever had anyone treat me so badly whilst trying to do my job.

“Political opinions aside … from one human being to another … Mr Abbott, you win hands down.”

Fontana later removed the post from Facebook but not before it was shared more than 1200 times.

She said she didn’t expect so much attention: “What a lesson to learn. I’ve removed the post and regret making the comments I did.”

Mr Rudd downplayed the incident.

“I have no hard feelings in terms of the comments which this person has now withdrawn,” he told reporters in Torquay.

He said sometimes misunderstandings occur.

“You know something, when you’re preparing for a debate with two or three minutes to go and someone walks in and puts a bit of stuff on your face, you smile, you’re in the zone,” he said.

He joked he didn’t like having make up applied to his face at the best of times.

Mr Abbott said Ms Fontana – who he mistakenly called “Tilly” – did his makeup in a different room to Mr Rudd so he did not witness any rudeness.

“I thought she did a great job making my craggy face as presentable as possible, we had a great conversation,” he told reporters in Sydney.

Sky News, the official broadcaster of the debate, distanced itself from Ms Fontana’s comments.

“The individual is not a staff member and we don’t agree with them,” the broadcaster tweeted.

It’s not the first time Mr Rudd has come under fire for being rude to people behind the scenes.

In April 2009 he was criticised for reportedly making an RAAF flight attendant cry because his preferred meal was not available on a plane.

A month later he was accused of getting angry over a hairdryer in Afghanistan although he denied the incident.

And last year a video surfaced of Mr Rudd thumping a table, swearing and berating embassy staff as he tried to record a message.

Following this incident, a report that Mr Rudd had rudely cut off a female student journalist who was attempting to ask him a question has gone to air. Is Mr Rudd showing signs of having a woman problem? None of the feminists who attacked Mr Abbott seem to be saying anything about his manners, so maybe not.

So, who are we when we’re under pressure?

Who are we when no one is looking?

Are we the same person we like to portray before the cameras, or, in our case, in public, where everyone is looking?