Lars Løkke Rasmussen is not the comeback kid – he was never really out.
Most of the Danish media predicted he would resign in disgrace, while colleagues dared to openly question his leadership.
Even Jens Rohde had the nerve to join in from the doghouse he has been sitting in since being sacked as a Venstre spearhead at the last EU election.
It is said that the split in Venstre is between the højskole (folk high) for the plain-speaking people and the business school for the liberal town people.
Opposition came from Jutland’s rural districts where hardship and marginalisation is felt acutely. And in the end, the city boys won as the others had nowhere to go.
The media expected and facilitated a downfall built on party-sponsored boxer shorts. It got to a point where they only had one positive thing that could be said about Rasmussen’s reputation: his liberal attitude.
But unfortunately that also extended to his expense accounts.
And while he has survived and swept his latest embarrassments under the carpet with the rest of the debris, the damage to his reputation will stay.
He will forever be a politician who exposes himself to un-necessary risks, and really, he and his party secretaries should know better.
The media has always known he is oblivious, even arrogant, but his actions over the last couple of years have been borderline naivety. And made the job of the media easier than it should be.
Another characteristic of his nature is that he is a stubborn player with the stamina of a long-distance bicycle rider. That side of him prevailed on Tuesday night.
Rasmussen is now undisputedly the chairman of his party and leader of the blue parties.
The opinion polls and the EU election were disappointing for him to say the least.
There is speculation that Helle Thorning-Schmidt might be tempted to call an early general election in August 2014 instead of waiting the term out to November.
If she does that, the election will be a fight between characters and – with Tuesday’s events in mind – that could be a risky business for her.
Stilettos against a terrier.
Rasmussen was hung out to dry together with his boxer shorts. He came out feet first, which we welcome so that we can now judge him on his politics.
The nation still needs to be navigated through structural reforms to improve international competitiveness in cost and education and, at the same time, cope with the drive from province to city – not to mention environment, structural unemployment, ethnic assimilation etc.
We hope the spin of the boxer shorts is well behind us and that we can now see elected politicians dressed in working outfits of their own. (ES)