2007 has truly been the Year of the Family Man in Australian politics.

In many cases, a loss to the party has resulted in a big win for working families (Is this what Rudd meant?):

“I have discussed this with my family and my wife, Tanya … and we have decided that the time has come for me to open a new chapter in my life. I will be looking to build a career post-politics in the commercial world … I want to spend more time with my family and do something for them. They have paid a heavy price for 11½ years as treasurer.” — Peter Costello announces he won’t seek the leadership of the Liberal Party, 25 November

Standing with his wife Wendy, Mr Vaile choked back tears when he talked about the toll his parliamentary career had taken on his family. “It’s been a long 10 or 11 years for my family whilst I’ve been away from home and they deserve a bit of time and that’s what I want to give them,” said the father of three, holding back tears. — Mark Vaile steps down as leader of the Nationals, 26 November, as reported in The SMH

“I appreciate the enthusiasm there’s been from a lot of my colleagues for me to run … But I don’t really have the hunger to do it. My wife and children are totally against it. I’m definitely not going to do it. I don’t have the enthusiasm for the job.” — Alexander Downer, 26 November, says he won’t throw his hat into the ring for the Liberal leadership.

“Heather and I have been in public life, you know, as I often joke about this, since Adam and Eve were in shorts, it’s been a long time. But this will surprise a lot of you. I mean, we actually are craving privacy and time with our kids and family and I’ve said it to Cabinet today that we will go away, and I’m not going to be one of those people who want to put my head up.” — Peter Beattie announces his resignation as Qld Premier, 10 September

“This is the right decision for Terry and our family … It’s the right time to stand down. I have given everything to this job — body and soul … You have to remember our children have only known [a life in] politics. I said when I went in [as leader] that I wanted to do the job and be a good father. Nothing has changed and I will do everything I can to be a good father. The events of the last few weeks have helped me make a decision earlier than otherwise would have been the case.” — Steve Bracks announces his resignation as Victorian Premier, 27 July

“After 17 years as a senator for Western Australia, 13 of them on the front bench, I have decided to pursue a new career in the private sector, which will enable me to spend more time in Perth with my young family.” — Ian Campbell retires from politics after being sacked from the position of Human Services Minister for getting caught up in the Brian Burke scandal, 4 May

Perhaps they’re just taking their lead from master political strategist Karl Rove. He resigned as President Bush’s senior adviser in August with the words: “I just think it’s time … There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family.”