COMMENT:

National is reshuffling its caucus after Paula Bennett's departure, and this is really only of interest to trainspotters, the wider public I doubt will care too much.

But here's the problem. They'll sweat it.

They'll sweat it because they've had two senior women leave, they'll sweat it because they've been accused of not being diverse enough, they'll sweat it because they have a new leader and they're sweating everything these days.

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And in that is the issue: The sweating, the over-thinking, the intense navel gazing. They'll workshop it; second guess it; whiteboard it; blue sky it; look at all the angles the media might take on it - and they still won't get it right.

That's what happens when you over-think everything.

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Promoting people based on sheer talent gets lost in the quagmire of political correctness as you try to weigh up what decision might be popular. Spoiler alert: They're damned if they do, damned if they don't.

So don't bother trying.

Personally, I'd pull Simon back up the ranks – is it just me or do we miss Simon?

Is former leader Simon Bridges an option for Todd Muller, or too risky in the inner sanctum? Photo / Michael Cunningham
Is former leader Simon Bridges an option for Todd Muller, or too risky in the inner sanctum? Photo / Michael Cunningham

That would be a smart move and show the party was able to cut through the tribal splits it appears to be bogged down in currently. Because between Judith Collins' barbs in her book, and Paula Bennett's penchant to show more respect to a comedian than her leader, it's not looking too flash at the moment.

But let's give Todd Muller a point on the scoreboard today. I've been hard on him, but yesterday he showed signs of coming to life. The batteries were in.

He made some salient points about not being given access to health information and official advice; that the public should be demanding more answers rather than just Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield operating in a bubble and not sharing the full information with the public.

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Muller said he hoped the PM was asking the right questions of her officials. He hoped that she would be more focused on how to get the border open, rather than her current mantra of just keeping it shut.

He pointed out how little help that is to businesses who need to plan ahead. Fine, if she wants to keep them shut now, but what's the three- and six-month plan going forward? How do people plan for the future of their businesses? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?

Kate Hawkesby. Photo / Michael Craig
Kate Hawkesby. Photo / Michael Craig

All good points.

But, for Muller personally, he may be wishing for some light at the end of the tunnel too.

It appears the party still has a leak – letting media know secret internal polling which doesn't look good for the leader, and airing some apparent concerns the party has swung too far to the left and is too soft.

With just 80 odd days until the General Election, the clock is ticking for Todd.