An odd mood has set in around the government. Senior staff tell you how Arthur Sinodinos, the PM’s former chief of staff, is missed. His replacement, Tony Nutt, is respected as a fixer, but doesn’t measure up on the policy front. He lacks the antennae.Cikey says Liberals are already "worrying" about who will be their next leader. "Plotting", "planning" and "positioning" might be more descriptive words.
Mutterings are developing, too, about Brian Loughnane, the Liberal’s federal director. He’s rude. He’s too introverted. He doesn’t know what makes voters tick.
There’s even some extraordinary thinking aloud that the prime minister, despite what he said last week, has one rabbit left – and an escape route that will let him get out before an election. Not that anyone actually has a clue what it might be. They just expect him to have one. He’s John Howard, after all.
It’s not a good state for a government to be in.
Crikey! has some inside analysis from Canberra:
at 10:20:00 pm