Peter Costello, I know what you are up to!
And if I had been the lad-in-waiting for so long, I would do exactly the same thing! Ten out of ten for strategy… Sun Tzu would be very proud.
Firstly, I would let anyone who thinks they are a potential Liberal Party leader to step up and have a go. You watch them implode. You want them to run out puff before you take up the reins. You don’t want challengers while you are there – you want to eliminate any opposition. Brendan Nelson fancied himself as a bit of a goer, and he went. Watch Malcolm Turnbull disappear very soon. Keep an eye on Nick Minchin and Joe Hockey as they become possible contenders.
Secondly, I would make my presence felt by, well, not doing too much. Just enough to make people uncomfortable and remind them of who is really boss. The media love this tactic, because it means you are always on the radar as the “real” leader of the Liberal party. And the best bit about this is, you don’t have to do a thing!
I know exactly what you are up to, Peter Costello! And I take my hat off to you… you are much smarter than I thought!