Many people who know Mathias Cormann - let us except Malcolm Turnbull - will hope he wins his bid to become secretary-general of the OECD.
Not only is he well qualified, but it would be a feather in Australia's cap.
He's certainly no shoo-in, however. There are already multiple candidates, the pandemic will make campaigning complicated and Australian's record on climate change might be a negative.
But he'll have strong government support and, given his meticulous organisational skills and network of contacts abroad, nothing will be left undone.
Finance minister throughout the Coalition's term, Cormann is respected across the political spectrum, which has made him effective as the government's "wrangler" of the difficult characters in the Senate.
His dour image conceals a lighter side, seen in Wednesday's cameo appearance on the ABC's Mad as Hell as he jested with his "spokesman" Darius Horsham, a long-running character on the show.
Cormann's October 30 parliamentary exit - the timing determined by the OECD's process - is a significant loss for the government. But Scott Morrison was determined not to let it become a disruption.
Morrison has filled Cormann's shoes even before his minister has stepped out of them, announcing Simon Birmingham will take over the finance portfolio and Senate leadership when Cormann goes.
The PM said he'd make no other changes at that time, but there'll be a reshuffle at year's end.
Birmingham will then shed his trade ministry and Morrison will have the opportunity to make other alterations to his team. With aged care set to be a mega issue after the royal commission reports in February, one thing he should do is put a heavyweight into that portfolio and elevate it to cabinet.
Thursday's small shuffle was a side show in the major play of the week, which saw a budget with a deficit of $213.7 billion this financial year that gambles on being large enough to get the country marching to recovery.
It will take months to judge whether the government has pitched its budget well (and that's assuming no new seismic setbacks), but it is satisfied with the immediate reception. Income tax cuts are likely to be popular even if their critics argue other measures would be better. Business can only welcome the massive incentives to invest, although many enterprises won't survive to take advantage of them.
While elements of the budget have come under fire, it has been a difficult one for the opposition to savage, given it has endorsed the core elements of income tax cuts and business concessions.
But one fertile area for Labor has been the lack of specific assistance for women, many of whom have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. They're often in casual jobs, and in sectors with the biggest job losses. Women have also carried a disproportionate load of home schooling.
Anthony Albanese tapped into this point of government vulnerability when he delivered his budget reply.
The opposition leader had several imperatives to meet as he went into that speech. To produce some policy flesh. To set up an ideological difference with the government. To cut through to the public.
With an election perhaps late next year, Labor is under pressure to start rolling out detailed policies. Albanese's promises to make childcare more affordable (at a cost of $6.2 billion) and to modernise the energy grid (a $20 billion investment) were substantial commitments.
The childcare policy will appeal to women in particular. The pandemic has made families, but especially women, even more aware how important childcare is for them - its brief free period only increased the appetite for a better system. The budget didn't respond.
The proposals Albanese put forward to boost skills and local manufacturing highlighted Labor's message that it believes in using government as a driver of change, through prescriptions, procurement policy and other means.
Albanese proposes mandating that a certain proportion of workers on major government-funded projects should be apprentices and trainees. He even suggests this could be extended to government-funded sectors such as aged care - how practical that would be is debatable.
There wasn't a detailed social housing policy but Albanese flagged Labor would invest substantially in this area - that's spending favoured by many economists.
While Albanese is at pains to argue he'd mobilise the power of government, Morrison has muddied this political water.
The budget might be heavily private sector-oriented (and from that vantage point, seen as ideological), but Morrison is also interventionist when it suits him. His so-called gas-led recovery and his identification of designated sectors in his manufacturing policy are examples.
In terms of the imperatives he was trying to meet, Albanese did produce some policy flesh but of the announcements, probably only the childcare initiative is likely to achieve general "cut through". The government's "where is the money coming from" attack is a bit of a joke given the sums it is throwing around.
The danger for Albanese is that come the election, if Morrison sees childcare as a political weak spot, he's likely to address it.
In his stress on childcare and social housing, Albanese made his point that Labor had different priorities to the government's. And we got the message about putting government in the driver's seat.
But the picture of what an Albanese government would actually look like wasn't clear - as it can't be, because that remains a work-in-progress.
Nor did we get any comprehensive idea of how, if this had been a Jim Chalmers budget, Labor would be tackling the immediate crisis differently.
Albanese's problem was that circumstances demanded too much of him in his budget reply. He had a fair crack at meeting those demands, but he couldn't change the perception that the pandemic has made the opposition one of its victims.
- Michelle Grattan is a press gallery journalist and former editor of The Canberra Times. She is a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra and writes for The Conversation, where her columns also appear.