COMMENT:

So it's bye bye to Jami-Lee Ross, or it will be by the end of today anyway.

The National Party cannot afford to tolerate (a) this circus, or (b) someone who's gone so rogue.

Many outside of the political scene wouldn't have, until now, heard of Jami-Lee Ross.

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But he's certainly made his mark now.

He'll be known as the guy who turned on his party, and lobbed a few grenades on his way out.

The guy who burnt his bridges.

In a bizarre Trump-like Twitter rant, Ross fired off a series of barbs designed to give him the upper hand. But did it?

Or did it just make the whole thing even more weird?

Bridges, in yet another attempt to show strong leadership, stood at a press conference yesterday with steely-eyed staunch looking wing-woman Paula Bennett at his side, looking like a man not going to take this lying down.

But has the damage already been done?

Early on Bridges vowed and declared the leaker wouldn't be from National, that the party was tight as a drum, and that this was some kind of external attack. Oh dear.
Has he misread his own support base?

Does he have a clue what's going on inside his own party?
Or is he right that this is just one disgruntled disloyal MP?
Time will tell.

Worse for Bridges though is that as another day rolls on, he still hasn't plugged the leak.

Jami-Lee Ross claims he was pushed out by Bridges on medical leave, that he has more dirt on Bridges, that he has more to say, that he's recorded things. Jami-Lee Ross, instead of being shut down, appears to be gaining momentum.

Dirty political washing being strung out slowly is good headline fodder, even if it is beltway stuff, it's not great for the party though.

These are headlines for all the wrong reasons and this is the last thing Bridges needs: his leadership already something he constantly needs to prove, and unable to plug leaks.
It's a circus.

No amount of Paula Bennett standing by him looking kick ass scary is going to prop him up.

So who's the winner out of all this?

Though I'd personally pick Mark Mitchell, my bet is the person doing her stretches off the subs bench as we speak is... Judith Collins.