Steven Joyce hasn't quite achieved the power of a Corleone Godfather in the National Party.
If he had, he would have knee-capped his way to the leadership by now.
But under John Key and Bill English, he became incredibly powerful for someone who wasn't leader.
He became the oracle in political messaging and optics – what the party should be saying, who should be saying it and how.
The year 2017 was the ultimate for him, running his fifth high-polling election campaign for National, and taking over as Finance Minister as well.
As it has turned out, it was a power that could be exercised only with the patronage of Key and English.
It is possible that with the departure of Key and English, Joyce has unfairly become the lightning rod for all the ills of the party, and for the bitterness of not being in Government.
There was a time when Joyce was the next guy in line to be leader – in Key's first term, had he fallen under a bus, Joyce or Simon Power were considered the natural successors.
His star shone brightly, especially for someone who skipped the backbench and went straight into Cabinet.
But Bill English's steady performance over eight years of Government meant that when Key's time came, English was passed the crown.
The past few weeks may have been an unpleasant revelation for Joyce, that respect and even awe of his abilities did not translate into support for his leadership bid.
If he had been in closer touch with the caucus, he probably would never have tried.