Liberal HQ began wheeling in the heavy hitters during the last federal poll when they sensed the size of the Cathy McGowan onslaught.
They realised cabinet minister-in-waiting Sophie Mirabella was in danger of not joining them for the celebrations.
And so the visits began – Scott Morrison, Joe Hockey, Greg Hunt, Malcolm Turnbull. It was about talking up Mrs Mirabella’s role in a Coalition government, while still being a loyal servant to her electorate.
It wasn’t enough and in the election story of 2013, Ms McGowan scored a stunning, albeit incredibly narrow, victory.
But regardless of the size of the win, or the political voice of the victor, it was still the choice of the people of the North East.
It was about democracy, something all politicians like to espouse as being at the core of why they choose to serve.
That respect for the people’s decision got a bit of a whack in Wodonga on Friday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott was here for the opening of the Spirit of Anzac exhibition.
It was fitting and an honour to have the prime minister in town to launch the travelling event, which will visit 23 locations over the next 20 months.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley no doubt picked up on this sentiment when she commented: "I know the communities of Albury-Wodonga are terribly excited and honoured that this exhibition has been launched here.”
The launch was respectful and inspiring. As Mr Abbott himself said, “to us, the soldiers of the Great War are legends”.
It was unfortunate that the Liberals were also looking forward to the next election.
Despite being the people’s choice in Canberra, Ms McGowan ended up in a minor role at the exhibition launch. She sat in the audience, while now would-be MP Sophie Mirabella followed Mr Abbott around from one photo opportunity to the next.
Tony Abbott was flanked for most of the day by Mrs Mirabella and Ms Ley.
It is a shame such playground politics were allowed to happen.
It made sense for Mr Abbott to have Mrs Mirabella by her side during his press conference. The questions then, of course, would be all about politics. But as the people’s choice, the current member for Indi deserved a bit more respect during the official proceedings.
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