The powerbroker running Labor's election campaign is not only happy to be a ''faceless man'', he would quite like to be nameless as well. Labor's campaign director, Karl Bitar, so hates his name featuring again and again in the rapid-fire political authorisations at the end of ALP advertisements, he's thinking about getting his deputy directors to be named as the authorising person in some of them.Bitar, 39, insists that as Labor's national secretary for less than two years he has had a far more traditional ''backroom'' role than during the previous nine turbulent months. As general secretary of the NSW ALP he played a big part in bringing down Morris Iemma as NSW premier and with helping Mr Iemma's successor, Nathan Rees, choose his cabinet.But unpublished ''internal party polling'' done by the national secretariat is cited by many MPs as being the factor that convinced them Kevin Rudd had to go. The contents of the polling vary according to who tells the story, but all agree it predicted almost certain electoral defeat.Bitar's long-term friend and factional brother in arms of the NSW Right, Senator Mark Arbib, was one of the key players in the brutal and rapid leadership coup and by most accounts the relationship between Rudd and the party machine had broken down almost entirely towards the end of his prime ministership.Bitar is keen to undermine the coalition claim that ''faceless men run the Labor Party'' and play down the role of ALP factions in the leadership change, despite the fact that factional powerbrokers openly touted their involvement at the time.''Sure the Labor Party has factions, but so does the coalition,'' he says. ''But in the end the MPs did what they felt they had to do.''Bitar has been ready to run Labor's federal campaign since Christmas, when Labor had pencilled in a February double dissolution election on the issue of the emissions trading scheme. When that date passed, and Tony Abbott's ''great big new tax'' slogan began to cause the party problems in marginal seats, he and Arbib were among the strongest advocates of ''killing'' the emissions trading scheme. In the end, Rudd plumped for a delay rather than destruction of his controversial scheme, a decision that coincided with the rapid fall in his personal approval rating.Bitar is now ensconced in Labor's new headquarters in Pitt Street, Sydney, frantically airbrushing the former prime minister out of campaign material and inserting Julia Gillard, the woman he and key Labor figures believe is far more likely to deliver them a second term.At his side, directing the gruelling campaign battle, will be his long-term deputy, Nick Martin, who recently suffered a surprise defeat in preselection for the safe Canberra seat of Fraser, and Rudd's respected former deputy chief of staff, David Fredericks, who also worked for Kim Beazley and who will oversee and co-ordinate the policy announcements during the campaign.All up, 80 or 90 people will staff the headquarters, many of them political staffers or Labor campaign veterans.The all-important advertising will be created by Graham Woodlock and Jonathan Brown from McCann-Erickson, the agency that created the ''It's Time'' campaign for Gough Whitlam in 1972, with Cutting Edge doing the production and Ikon Communications responsible for the media buy.Bitar's organisational abilities are widely acknowledged and his interest in politics has been lifelong, but he has always made it clear he is in no way interested in seeking elected office.His image - immaculately dressed, softly spoken and polite - belies his ruthless factional reputation, but his background provides insight into how he learned to be tough.Bitar and his Melkite Catholic Lebanese parents returned to Lebanon from western Sydney when Karl was 12, at a time when they hoped the civil war had come to an end. But fighting and violence broke out again and Karl Bitar returned to Sydney in 1989.He studied economics and research methods at the University of Sydney and worked as a statistician at the Department of Education, Employment and Training as the 1990s recession began and the human cost in the form of rising unemployment became evident.In 1992, during the divisive debate over the former Liberal leader John Hewson's Fightback! manifesto, he joined the Labor Party and became active in Young Labor, beginning a career-long friendship with Arbib, who was then assistant secretary in the NSW party.In 1999, through his connection with Arbib, he became a state organiser and then assistant secretary when Arbib became secretary.He now lives in Sydney with his wife three children.He prefers not to divulge much more personal information than that. Karl Bitar likes to wield his power from the backroom.