It is classic Rudd. Not just making a mockery of what was supposed to be the fault-lines of the Australian political system, but locking the opposition increasingly into the international framework that is setting the domestic debate.
Nelson’s problem was not so much Rudd, but that his party would not let him follow the route Rudd has taken to adapt to current conditions.
The Liberals are left at the end of 2008 in a vacuum with a leader that has no real base of support in the party but with the old guard yet unable to get rid of him.
Nelson has been like a cheap hammer broken in the process of battering Turnbull down and the Costello play was pretty well at an end. Today’s spill was less about catching Turnbull early but Nelson having his last and best chance to use the Howard legacy to keep Turnbull at bay.
That last attempt has now failed and draws a period to a close.
There is a basic misconception journalists have about political parties, especially those on the right, that they are about nothing more than winning office.
After some initial excitement even Dennis Shanahan appeared last week to be starting to have his doubts on Costello’s imminent return to the leadership and that maybe The Australian’s world historical mission to shape Australian politics is going to have to wait for another day.
Despite The Australian’s attempts to make it seem like an unstoppable momentum is building, did one of their journalists let the cat out of the bag?
The campaign by The Australian to have Costello installed as the Liberal leader makes sense from many different viewpoints – except Costello’s.
Any discussion on climate change that had Malcolm Turnbull and Wilson Tuckey both thinking they got what they wanted, clearly resolved nothing.
Nelson is only focussed on one thing, to survive, and to do that he needs to manage both sides of the debate and prevent either side taking over.