Tony Abbott is reportedly planning a comeback and hopes to return to the post of Prime Minister, a plan which has seen Bill Shorten dub him "the Terminator".
Because he'll be back.
Abbott, deposed as PM by Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015, has hung around in parliament and resisted expectations he would resign after losing a ballot for the Liberal Party leadership.
Reports have emerged of a "resistance movement" of MPs loyal to Abbott and working toward his return -- most famously, the so-called "monkey pod room" -- and today Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper published a report citing "Liberal sources" that Abbott is being urged to fight for the leadership of the party again.
"Liberal sources have told The Daily Telegraph he is being urged by his former chief of staff Peta Credlin to have another crack in the hope he might regain the top job... He is said to have ambitions that he can mount a comeback like former Liberal prime ministers John Howard and Robert Menzies," the Telegraph reported. A front page screamed "I'll be back! Tony's plan to be PM again," with a headline reading "Tony not giving up on being PM again."
A spokesman for Abbott denied the claims to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying "the whole thing is fanciful".
Speaking to ABC Radio on Wednesday, opposition leader Bill Shorten gave us a taste of his near-legendary zingers, which we have been sorely missing over the parliament break.
"I don't know about you, but I, like many Australians, share the relief that Tony Abbott is gone. Although I noticed today that a bit like the Terminator he's vowing to have Tony Abbott 2.0 -- he'll be back," Shorten said.
Turnbull, in his capacity as current PM (for now, at least) is in Washington, having met with President Barack Obama overnight.
Our alliance is founded not just on national self-interest, not just on economics or kinship, but on shared values. We define our national identities by reference to common political values of freedom, the rule of law, democracy -- real democracy, which empowers the majority but constrains them so as to protect the minority.
Turnbull is the fourth Aussie PM that Obama has entertained at the White House since 2009, after Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Abbott. Obama is no doubt struggling to keep up.
Of course, Abbott wouldn't be the first Aussie pollie to re-take the top job after being shafted previously. Kevin Rudd was deposed by Julia Gillard but then recaptured the prime ministership by, in turn, deposing her; while Malcolm Turnbull, who was replaced as Liberal leader by Abbott in 2009, of course then unseated Abbott last year.
Also, FYI Twitter users; in the style of the #Ruddmentum and #ReTurnbull hashtags, we've agreed the official Tony comeback hashtag is #ToneBack (as in, a play on "turn back," as in "turn back the boats". It'll be a thing.)
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Look, the official hashtag is #toneback. It is like you people don't want it to happen or something.— PirateMonkey2016 (@jonkudelka) November 25, 2015