Within 24 hours of becoming Leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins had already eclipsed her predecessor.
Throughout his 53 days as National Party leader, Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller had consistently stumbled through interviews and looked as if he needed help from his colleagues when in public.
During her first round of interviews on Wednesday morning, then as she announced she was stripping her colleague of a key portfolio, Collins showed she was comfortable under fire.
In early-morning radio interviews, Collins quickly moved through questions about the lack of diversity among National's senior MPs, controversial comments about being white and her own association with the events which gave rise to Nicky Hager's 2014 book, Dirty Politics, and her close association with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater.
Her answers will not satisfy her opponents, many of whom may see her as a symptom of lingering problems in National's approach to politics.
But her responses, that the issues were not of concern to most voters, that the party picked candidates on talent and that she had learned from experience, gave little scope for interviewers to chase her.
Later in the day she looked relaxed as she announced that Michael Woodhouse, one of National's strongest performers, would be replaced as health spokesman by Dr Shane Reti over the way Woodhouse handled emails containing private health data from former National Party president Michelle Boag.
Collins gave no sharper criticism of Woodhouse than that he had made a mistake, hinting the real reason for the change was to draw a line under the episode.
She did not fall into the trap of hoping Reti's promotion would end questions about the lack of diversity in National's senior ranks, saying she hoped it would start a focus about the depth of National's caucus.
Collins is a divisive figure among political observers and she inherits the leadership of National so close to the September 19 election that she will have little scope to influence the party's strategy.
Polls suggest National has a mountain to climb to even make the election competitive, let alone remove a highly popular Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister.
It seems certain that Collins' populist style will appeal to National's base, helping protect the party from the annihilation which could be on the cards.
Whether she can peel off voters from Labour is a different question, given Ardern's communication style and the reluctance of New Zealanders to remove Governments quickly.
So far Collins has given little detail about what National will do to convince voters that the party is better equipped to manage the economy as it copes with the lasting impacts of Covid-19.
Immediately, though, she appears a better bet to do so. Coping with the press is far from the only job of Opposition leader, but the ability to communicate simple ideas, keep the party united and present yourself as a plausible alternative as Prime Minister is key.
Having slipped in the polls and made two leadership changes in two months National still seems highly unlikely to be in Government this year, but Collins stands a much better chance of being seen as a credible alternative.