Watch as the Tories try to distance Key from Lee.
Remember that Lee was Key’s personal choice. Young, pretty, smiley, not too sharp on the detail – he must have seen a lot of himself in her. He believed that she would win on the back of his popularity. In Key’s mind this would be the first conflict between him and Goff. Not only would he give a Goff a bruising, if Lee could win it would be a knock-out blow. Key used to bring up the by-election all the time. He really thought his girl would win it for him.
How badly wrong Key got it.
The Tory leadership placed Lee under huge pressure with their bungling of Waterview and the Supercity. Then didn’t give her the back up.
A competent candidate would have been able to handle the pressure and lose gracefully but Lee is a self-satisfied moron who shoots her mouth off. Again, that’s something Key should have realised would be an issue. Maybe no-one would have realised it would be this bad. It should have been predicted by anyone who knew her that she would go off the rails at some point though. The Standard did on much less information.
Key should have made allowances for it. Instead he just gave her all the rope she needed. Poor management. Poor judge of character. Poor treatment of a colleague and ally.
Lee’s the disaster, but Key put her there.
He didn’t set Lee up to fail. He set her up to win. But he made the former inevitable. Now her campaign’s imploded Key is abandoning her. To try to avoid the stink of failure attaching to him.
Lee was his golden girl but loyalty doesn’t run deep in the Tories.