Many senior Liberal supporters were disappointed by the election of Dr Brendan Nelson as federal party leader because they were hoping privately for the high-achieving Malcolm Turnbull to take charge. But they may soon thank their lucky stars that the crazy doctor defeated federal parliament’s wealthiest MP for the job.
Daily Telegraph journalist Sandra Lee is understood to be preparing an unauthorised biography of 52-year-old Turnbull. She has been turning over his school career, his university years, his time as a journalist and a barrister, his sojourn as a merchant banker in partnership with Neville Wran and Nick Whitlam, his hugely successful investment in Ozemail, his controversial career as an investor, his overthrow of sitting MP Peter King to become the member for Wentworth in 2004 and his whirlwind Canberra career.
Every step of the way, Lee has been talking to Turnbull’s friends and enemies (more of one than the other) and has apparently uncovered a story of driving ambition and ruthlessness.
Lee covered the Turnbull campaign in last month’s election and was positioned at the Waverley RSL Club, Bondi Junction, when he claimed victory over Labor’s carpetbagging candidate George Newhouse.
In the week prior to the election, Lee profiled Turnbull referring to him as “an unlikely champion of the common man” and “the human equivalent of a charm bomb: garrulous, considered, and occasionally sincerely self-deprecating”.
But Lee’s colleagues say that no one should be deceived by the faint praise in her news reports: the final account between hard and soft covers will be “devastating”, they chortle.