Remember Tom Switzer, the neocon-friendly ex-editor of The Australian? His influential mates were pushing for him to take over Brendan Nelson's old seat - "the jewel in the crown of conservative politics in NSW". Interestingly, he lost out. But his old friends in the Murdoch press were still singing his praises... Chosen for his smarts | The Australian
First up, based on an order drawn from a hat, was Tom Switzer, a former opinion editor at The Australian. Handsome and charismatic, Switzer carried endorsements from leading conservative figures such as John Howard, Tony Abbott and Peter Costello.
Switzer had given everything to the contest, but his opponents had managed to brand him as the candidate of the Right: a disadvantage on the north shore, where the Left, also known as the Group, has done a much better job than elsewhere of blocking a resurgent Right during the past decade. Switzer's enemies also used the coward's haven of the internet to circulate nasty rumours about an alleged womanising past.