Unlike Rudd, Turnbull does not lead a technocratic shell that is happy to leave its policies to its leader, but Australia’s last political party that is still desperately thrashing around on what it stands for.
What we have seen in the last week is how destructive to both parties the current climate can be on the most minor of issues and from practices that would have been quite acceptable in the past.
Turnbull, someone who has made a career out of his ability to nurture powerful contacts, decided to make such an issue about the contacts of someone who has made a career out of not having any.
The whole fuss shows the degree to which the political class has become so insecure in the last few years, that what would have passed for normal political activity has become almost impossible.
So by the end we got to the real nature of Costello’s ‘pretensions’ to the leadership, less about his ambitions than about a media and a political party refusing to face the vacuum in front of their eyes.
There is one aspect of Rudd’s agenda that both sets him apart from his peers but causes the most anguish with the media is Rudd’s disdain of the political class.
Drift is one thing, but loss of control over the state apparatus is something else.
Labor put a positive gloss on the numbers yesterday, but ironically so did the coalition.