Now, in this high speed, 24 hour news cycle, it seems an afternoon is a long time in Politics.
Yesterday was a joke, but a necessary joke.
Parliament is now on a 6-7 week break before the May budget. There's lots to discuss between now and then, and the Government has a lot to sell. However, they've had a lot to sell before now, but the concentration in the media has been on leadership rumbling.
3AW's self-righteous morning host, Neil Mitchell, has been promising a leadership challenge for weeks. The national newspapers have had variations on a challenge on their front pages of both their printed and online editions for weeks. Any time Kevin Rudd or one of his supporters made a statement, reporters/journalists/commentators would foam at the mouth and as the predictable leadership question. In fact, any time ANY ALP politician stuck their head out to give a Press Conference, you could hear the media wanted to ask about leadership issues rather than the garbage they were there to discuss.
You know, garbage like the NDIS, continued low unemployment rates, the NBN, discussions with Afghan leaders overseas, apologies to people caught up in the forced-adoption issue, the proposed media rule changes and so on.
So as you can see, it's been very hard for the Government to get any of their 'news' across without it being hijacked by speculation on who is or isn't challenging Julia Gillard.
But that's over now.
How YOU doin'!?
Simon Crean has either been very clever or very stupid, but either way he has sorted the issue.
It would have dragged on for another 6-7 weeks at least with the media poking the story at every opportunity. The challenge didn't happen because Kevin Rudd doesn't have the numbers. He hasn't had the numbers since before he was rolled in May 2010. Three years down the track and he still doesn't have the numbers.
The Rudd push is over. Not because I say so, but because he simply can't garner enough support to jump back into the position, and if you can't do that when the election date is in your sights, it's time to give the game away.
Some people are good in government, some are not. Kevin Rudd got to a point in March 2010 where even I sent him a letter telling him what I thought of things and that he needed to lift his game significantly.
If I could be bothered doing that, then I'm not surprised others acted to sort things out. If your leader is failing, you give them opportunities to improve, but if they don't, you do yourself and your supporters a disservice by keeping them there and ruining your reputation.
Amusingly some ten years ago I found myself in a similar situation in a club and action was taken. Our Kevin Rudd also chucked a tanty and undermined the new leader, but unlike the federal ALP, the "caucus" members of this club were sucked in by the tanties. Each and every one of them regretted their decision later on. But the damage was done.
So where to now for the Government? With resignations and steppings down, it would seem the shit-stirrers and agitators are out of the picture with no reason for them to be interviewed or approached for comment.
In a car race, you don't spend your time arguing over who is driving at the expense of not winning the race.
Or perhaps this is better, in a horse race, you don't spend the first 500m deciding on the colours the jockey will wear.
Anyway, whatever the analogy, the focus should and will NOW be on the actual target, Tony Abbott.