While there’s still talk that former treasurer Joe Hockey could be off to Washington to replace Kim Beazley as American ambassador, a tipster tells us there’s still some doubt over where Hockey could end up:

“There is increasing talk in diplomatic circles that Joe Hockey may not be the lock for the US Ambassador’s job that has been reported. As one former senior diplomat said just last night ‘You make deals over London or Paris, not Washington’. Conjecture, and it just that at this stage, is that Michael Thawley, the man Peta ‘two years in a leaky boat’ Credlin brought back to government from his life in US private enterprise to head the PM’s Department, may go back to the job he had under John Howard. It’s a role that needs top drawer gravitas and credibility (Joe Hockey anyone?) and story goes that Thawley has the deep relationships in Washington that would return Australia to DC’s top tables, something the country has struggled to do since Kim Beazley took over, the snipers add.

“The Japan envoy’s job is open now, as well, and more than person has noted that might suit the soon to be former member for North Sydney a little better. As important as that post is, it’s still more about trade and economics — things Hockey knows at least a bit about — than defence and diplomacy. Of course it could just be collective wishful thinking.”

We’ll keep you posted on the postings.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form.