Howard and Costello on Leadership Succession – two different views – same poor result !
Mr Costello in his 2008 memoir, refrained from personal criticism of Mr Howard, he did, however, hold him responsible for losing in 2007: “Leadership is not only about winning: It is also about departing. Unlike Menzies, Howard never managed a transition.”
Mr Howard on the other hand blamed Australia’s longest-serving treasurer for mishandling a planned leadership transition. According to Mr Howard, he was planning to hand the leadership to his deputy with the intention of prolonging Coalition rule. But he abandoned this plan, he said, because Mr Costello overplayed the revelation in 2006 that they had a longstanding handover agreement. Under public pressure from Mr Costello, Mr Howard decided to dig in and remained leader until he lost government, and his seat of Bennelong, in 2007.
Either way the succession was bungled / mismanaged / ignored – the result was ultimately the loss of government.