At the rate Christopher Luxon is prepping himself for a tilt at the National Party leadership, you can't rule out the chance he might run this term.
His maiden speech in Parliament this week felt like an opening bid, used to both introduce himself and clear away perceived problems.
His Christianity was the first issue he tried to clear away, saying "a person should not be elected because of their faith and nor should they be rejected because of it."
The use of the word elected pricked a few ears.
The second was his business career. Business is, to some, a synonym for ruthlessness. And so he said "I understand, of course, that a country is not a company", which is to say, it won't always be profits before people.
Luxon's a little unusual in that he's wasted no time on subtlety. His interest in running for the leadership was well-known before he even won a seat in Parliament. It's now so widely known that he's popping up in preferred prime minister polls, coming in at 2 per cent in last week's TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll.
Luxon's actively raising his profile, running a strong game on social media. His Twitter and Facebook accounts are full of professionally shot photos and happy slow-mo videos of him walking and laughing - as you do - in Parliament's corridors. He seems to have recruited someone to tag along snapping photos. Again, no subtlety.
He's done a lot of work meeting and greeting around Wellington, making sure to include the gallery journalists who can be crucial in endorsing leadership contenders as credible.
And it can't be an accident that he now sounds exactly like Sir John Key in interviews. That's smart, but it's also risky.
It's smart because Key is possibly comforting to some voters. He will - for some-represent an easier, happier time before Covid-19 and its uncertainties.
But, in copying a brand, you adopt the good along with the baggage and by the time Key resigned there was plenty of baggage. And generally, a country won't elect in 2023 the same guy they elected in 2008, so Luxon may need to quickly differentiate himself from Key.
Whether Luxon makes a move this term or not, surely comes down to Covid-19. The pandemic has rendered politics unpredictable.
Covid-19 tends to favour the incumbent in democracies around the world, because it drives out all other news and plays to one of the strongest of voters' emotions: fear.
But Covid-19 may loosen its grip on the news cycle before the next election. And in the past few weeks in both Australia and New Zealand we've seen how quickly normal politics tumbles back in and hurts the incumbent.
Scott Morrison is under huge pressure with the Canberra sex crisis. Our Government has had four weeks of bad headlines: from criticism of their mistake putting Auckland into lockdown, their refusal to take it out despite no outbreak, the PM punching down on the KFC worker, Clark Gayford involving himself in Cabinet matters, the PM's popularity falling in a poll with questionable accuracy, the transtasman bubble pressure, Damien O'Connor calling the tourism industry "cocky", pressure on Trevor Mallard and criticism of the Government's housing package.
If Covid-19 increasingly drops away from the news, leaving more space for the Opposition, it gives the National leader - whoever that is - a chance to improve on the pitiful 2020 result. That'll be tempting to Luxon.
But then, Covid-19 is unpredictable. One outbreak is enough to drown out the Opposition for months again, and if you have enough of that, you're closing in on the next election and a possible second massive spanking for National.
It's a quick turnaround from newbie to contesting the leadership within one term. But, Dr Don Brash did it within little more than a year of entering Parliament and then came with 2 per cent of taking the next election from Helen Clark.
Given Luxon's obvious ambition and haste, don't rule out a tilt this term.