National Party leader Simon Bridges' act of brinkmanship in calling out his potential challengers brought to mind the infamous quote of Sir Robert Muldoon when calling the 1984 snap election.
A reporter pointed out it did not leave Muldoon much time.
"It doesn't leave my opponents much time to run up to an election, does it?" Muldoon replied.
That is Bridges' strategy as well – although he will be hoping it works out better for him than it did for Muldoon.
As reports emerged that Bridges' rivals were doing the numbers and a motion of no confidence was in the works, Bridges moved quickly.
He waded into the media yesterday morning to announce their challenge for them. He then started planning for an emergency caucus meeting to be held later this week, rather than early next week.
There were two reasons for that: the first was to cauterise the matter as soon as possible, rather than let it roll over the weekend and through to Tuesday next week when caucus was scheduled to meet.
The second was to give his potential rivals less time to marshall the support they need to roll him.
If those pushing for change had hoped Bridges would see the train coming and simply stay on the tracks and wait, they have been disabused of that notion well and truly.
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That does not mean Bridges will hold on to his job, but his chances may be higher.
His rival, Todd Muller, announced that challenge much later in the day.
He and his likely deputy Nikki Kaye will have to secure the 28 votes that are needed to roll Bridges before that caucus meeting.
The rules for leadership changes within National's caucus do not allow for simple motions of no-confidence to roll a leader.
Old hands say there has never been one in the party's history and nor are they likely to start now. In general, unless the incumbent has announced they are standing down, the only way to force a leadership change is for someone to turn up with the numbers to roll that leader.
That means Muller has a fair bit of work to do in the days before that meeting is held. The one-on-one battle may also mean other contenders, such as Mark Mitchell, have missed their opportunity.
Muller's team are reporting "strong numbers" – albeit possibly not enough just yet.
In making that decision there is a lot for the National Party MPs to weigh up. Many will yet not have made a decision.
There are two schools of thought and the scales have them fairly evenly balanced.
Most agree that National's polling will rise again as the economic impact of Covid-19 digs in and the voters start looking at how the country will crawl back out of it.
The question some MPs are asking is whether the public has soured to Bridges to such an extent they won't give National the time of day as long as he is leader. They fear a voting collapse as happened under Bill English in 2002, and Labour's David Cunliffe in 2014.
The other school of thought is that a disruption in the leadership this close to an election without an obvious charismatic alternative will do more harm than good.
That is not just because voters traditionally punish internal dramas and disunity.
The election campaign begins soon.
There are debates against a highly popular rival in Jacinda Ardern, public meetings and endless questions on every matter under the sun from the media. Every misstep and mumble is amplified.
Bridges is battle-ready. He has spent more than two years preparing and making mistakes he cannot afford to repeat in an election campaign. He has withstood immense pressure.
Muller would be launching from a standing start. His mistakes lie ahead of him. His CV is impressive but he is untested under the unique pressure that will apply.
Nor would Muller necessarily get the "honeymoon" of a new leader. None of Labour's four leaders in Opposition got that honeymoon until Ardern came along.
Muller's ideal would have been for a bloodless handover, as happened between John Key and Bill English.
But Bridges was not simply going to hand it to him on a platter.
He kept National up in the 40s until Covid-19 came along. Bridges rightly thinks any leader of the Opposition would have struggled against the Prime Minister through that period – and that things would start to turn back in National's favour soon.
He will not want to end up being judged on the Covid-19 polls alone. This is his only shot. Muller will have another.
A 1 News Colmar Brunton poll is due to run on Thursday night. It is highly unlikely to be good - not least because the leadership question erupted half way through it after the Reid Research poll. Bridges' show of steel was likely too late to save that.
However the dance ends, the key priority is that it does end and ends very soon. If Bridges wins, he will be stronger. But whoever emerges as leader must handle it adroitly.
If it ends with a riven caucus, National will not stand a chance.
It has been on the back foot throughout the Covid-19 crisis. But as things turn to the economic hit and recovery, there is potential to make up lost ground.
Every day National is tangled up in its own intestines is further lost ground.