Ms Bligh, whose government was deeply unpopular before the disaster struck, has undergone a resurrection in the public eye thanks to her calm and compassion during the worst moments of the natural disaster.
Even as her own mother was forced to flee her home in Brisbane’s inner city suburb of West End, Ms Bligh presented the state’s anxious residents with reassurance, telling a press conference “this weather may be breaking our hearts, but it will not break our will”.
Her poise and sense of purpose have been favourably compared to that of Julia Gillard, the prime minister, who has been warned to “take a few notes” from Ms Bligh.
“Cometh the hour, cometh the woman,” wrote Australian author John Birmingham in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“And from Queensland’s dark hour comes a woman we never expected to meet. Anna Bligh, hero.”
Ms Bligh had impressed and surprised Queenslanders by emerging from the crisis as a “tireless and honest leader” who has become “the embodiment of a whole state’s resilience,” he wrote.
As the crisis deepened, Ms Bligh announced she would hold press conferences every two hours to keep the state informed. The move, coupled with her no-nonsense delivery of both the good and bad news, was a masterstroke.
Even Kevin Rudd’s daughter, Jessica, joined in with the praise.
In a blog on the mamamia.com.au website, Ms Rudd gushed about the premier’s performance.
“It’s hard to find enough superlatives to describe Anna Bligh right now,” she wrote.
“I want her to be my Mum and my Prime Minister and my best friend.
“I want to sit in front of my TV and just watch her talk because with every sentence, she manages to strike an extraordinary balance of compassion and calm and heartbreak and resolve.”
Mr Rudd himself has also been a strong presence during the flood, helping residents of his electorate of Griffith in Brisbane to sandbag their homes and evacuate if necessary.
The former prime minister has appeared on several news channels wading through knee-deep water in his trainers to check on locals in flooded streets.
But there is no doubt that Ms Bligh is the state’s hero, even though she brushed off the idea, saying she was simply “doing my job”.