You're the prime minister of Australia. (Well, you're not, actually, but this is my little rhetorical way of plunging you imaginatively in medias res. I want you to imagine that you're the prime minister of Australia.) Your foreign minister is a former prime minister that you ousted from the leadership in 2010, and now a bitter rival who looks like he's plotting to get back the leadership. You haven't been exactly assiduous in publicly rebutting criticisms of him emanating from your wing of the party, because frankly you wouldn't piss on him if he caught fire. He suddenly decides, while on a trip overseas representing the country, that he's had enough of the insults and attacks, and it's time to make his play. So he resigns his ministerial post and announces his resignation to a press conference at 1:30 a.m. in Washington DC so as to catch the 6 p.m. news in Australia.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it: to say something prime-ministerial about his accomplishments in office without giving one iota of extra support to his candidacy now that he's quite clearly going to come back to Oz and challenge you for your job. What do you say? You don't want to say that he achieved anything, yet you have to uphold the foreign policy record of your government. Is it time for the passive construction?
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