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John Howard's aspirational target for retirement

So John Howard will step down as Prime Minister if he is re-elected for a fifth term of office later this year. But did the former suburban solicitor, who is always so finicky about the exact words that he uses, really say that?

This is the relevant quote from the transcript of his interview on the "7.30 Report" last night:

"If the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect me again, there are a lot of things I want to do, and I would want to approach those things with enormous energy. But I would expect well into my term, and after those things have been implemented and battered down, I would probably, certainly form the view well into my term, that it makes sense for me to retire, and in those circumstances, I would expect, although it would be a matter for the Party to determine if Peter would take over."

"Makes sense for me to retire"... and that's only "after those things [the 'lot of things I want to do'] have been implemented and battered down".

About as decisive as the emission targets set down in the Sydney Declaration, ie, not.