Glenn Milne has been barracking from the pages of The Australian and Sydney's Daily Telegraph for Peter Costello to take over the leadership of the Liberal Party for so long, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Glenn lights candles in front of a Costello shrine in the corner of his bedroom each evening, while chanting, "Soon Peter, soon you will lead..."
For almost a decade Glenn Milne has been working centre stage, and behind the scenes, to help score the leadership of the Liberal Party for the man he just can't get enough of. If Costello was Britney Spears, Milne would be running the fanclub and the chatroom.
Then finally, finally, it happened. John Howard lost the election and announced, late in the evening last Saturday that this was it, he was out of politics forever. The leadership of the Liberal Party was open.
Glenn Milne pounced. By 11pm on Saturday night, shortly after Howard announced his retirement, Milne's first breathless story announcing Peter Costello would become leader of the Liberal Party was up on the Sunday Mail website.
From The Sunday Mail :
Victorian Peter Costello will take over a decimated Coalition unopposed as Opposition Leader, knowing he would have been able to mount a stronger fight against Kevin Rudd and Labor.
Mr Costello has long held the view that if Mr Howard had stood aside months ago and allowed him to establish his vision for Australia, the Coalition would have had a better chance of winning last night.
There is unlikely to be any credible challenge to Mr Costello when he formally stands as leader at the first Liberal Party caucus meeting.
Previous contenders - Alexander Downer, Brendan Nelson, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull - have all faded under the weight of their own mistakes.
By 7am, Sunday morning, Milne had reworked the story for the Sunday Telegraph to include a firm commitment from Costello that he would seek the leadership of the Liberal Party :
From the Sunday Telegraph :
Mr Costello considers politics to be his vocation and does not want to repeat Mr Latham's mistake - abandoning his career too early and living the rest of his life wondering "what if''.
Within hours of this Glenn Milne "exclusive" appearing online, Peter Costello was standing in front of the media, with his wife by his side, announcing he didn't want to be leader of the Liberals, and would soon be leaving politics completely.