If Sam Dastyari is feeling down about his future, he’s not showing it. The former senator is all smiles as he welcomes me into his home, urging me to grab a promotional CPC stubby holder from an enormous pile by the front door. He brings me into his opulent living room, tastefully appointed with modern Scandinavian furniture, ferns, and several floor-to-ceiling posters of his own face.

“Am I depressed about leaving the Senate?” Dastyari asks, before I have a chance to speak. “Hell no! In a way, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” I ask him, tentatively, in what way that is. “It’s going to free up a lot of time for me to pursue my passions.”