"I have not changed my mind"
It isn't Peter Costello's fault that Jason Koutsoukis' life and career lack meaning in 2008, but of course Jase thinks otherwise.
Peter Costello ... might do well to reflect on what his true vocation is.
I think he's done that already, Jase:
... a note from the man himself on Friday afternoon was emphatic: "I have not changed my mind. Not at all. What I said on Nov 25 stands. Yours faithfully, Peter Costello."
That should have killed the story stone dead. Costello is a lawyer, as if he'd commit something like that to paper if there was any possibility it could be used against him. It's interesting that as soon as this rumour took off around Parliament, Costello - a man with experience of the Parliamentary rumour mill - went straight to Jase. You should have dropped this non-story and written something else, Jase.
It's difficult to imagine the people of Higgins would begrudge him a briefly less hectic schedule.
His job is to represent them in Parliament, Jase. The people of Bennelong have shown what happens to MPs who are too busy for MP duties.
Yet it turned out that he was faking it and pretty soon afterwards it was Nixon who was kicking around the press as president of the United States.
It was six years between Nixon's gubernatorial loss and his presidential victory, Jase, so this column is half a decade ahead of its time. The American system does allow for people to go in and out of politics, and Nixon did spend most of the '60s as a lawyer in New York. Besides, Nixon's is not the sort of career you'd wish on anyone.
Right at this moment, Costello is said to have suffered a rather unhappy few months. Having woken up every day since he was about 20 thinking he would one day be prime minister, he's said to have been feeling rather shattered at the thought that this will not come to pass.
So you'd argue that the guy needs to stop moping and get on with his life? What do you mean, no?
Over the course of his political career, Costello proved that he was very good at several things, including being funny in Parliament, sulking when he didn't get his own way, and being totally risk-averse. Hardly the things you need to run a business.
Hardly sufficient to leading the Opposition, or becoming Prime Minister.
The former Adelaide doctor Andrew Southcott traded a promising career as a surgeon for a seat in Parliament.
You could argue that the health system needs every surgeon it can get. Mind you, if you're holding up Southcott's political career as an indication of what he'd be like as a surgeon, perhaps it's for the best.
Nothing outside of politics will ever feel as good as standing at the dispatch box, ridiculing his opponents and dreaming about what he would do with the top job if he ever got the chance.
Yeah, he could become a national joke like Wilson Tuckey. The one thing the Liberals have is economic credibility: the stock market is tanking and inflation is starting to bite, so now is the time for Peter Costello to be very, very quiet. Labor in government are unlikely to be the sullen little mice they were under Beazley, and Costello may prove to be as ineffective in Opposition as Abbott or Nelson.
The landscape has changed, Jase, and you are no longer able to report on it (if you ever were). Costello has given it away and members of the "coterie", like you, should too.