COMMENT:

I've lost count of how many times I've said the words, "I feel sorry for Simon Bridges", but I can't help it, here I am saying it again.

I really do feel for him.

The trajectory of your political career can often have very little to do with you, and that's the nature of the beast. Perception is everything.

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Bridges is a guy who, from day one, has just failed to fire. But worse than that for him, is that the media has written him off. And once they write you off, it's very hard to come back.

Add on top of that, the 'cancel culture' we live in nowadays and he can pretty much fold up his tent and go home. Short of some out of body experience, his stint has been effectively poo pooed, written off, cancelled.

I say this because look at what we've seen this week by way of contrast.

A guy you could argue that outside of corporate New Zealand most of the country barely knows (a CEO of an airline) resigns and an excitable press start tipping him as the next prime minister.

Why? Well maybe they see shades of John Key in him: economically savvy corporate dude with clean record and a desire to "do some good for the country". He's older than Bridges at 48, (Simon is 42), so he has a slight edge in the life experience department – though the Chloe Swarbrick's of this world would argue that's not an advantage (it unquestionably is).

But he's also young enough to go the distance – which he'd need to, given this current Government will likely win a second term and being the National leader, far less PM, will be a long game.

But Christoper Luxon's immediate embrace by the media, before he's officially even tipped his hat into the ring, must be a kick in the guts for underdog Bridges.

The tiki tour around New Zealand, the sporadic feisty appearances in the House, the attempts to get his name, face and values out there, haven't really paid off.

Whereas Luxon, has already grabbed more column inches than most departing CEOs would warrant.

The tidbits on him are already being drip-fed out: Christian, committed family man, non-drinker - so will we learn more about Luxon before he even enters the political ring, than we have about Bridges in his year and a half as leader? (I know, a year and a half.. and still polling at just 5 per cent as preferred PM. Ouch.)

So the National leadership game just got a whole lot more interesting. And even though I've personally always backed - and continue to back - Mark Mitchell as the party's saviour, it may just be Luxon, who cuts everybody's lunch.