Shortly after being installed as Premier by his party room in April, Mike Baird declared his primary mission was to "clean up" NSW politics and restore the electorate's faith in its state representatives.
On Tuesday, he had the first real opportunity to show he meant what he said. Instead he fell well short of the expectations of a community that had had an absolute gutful of lying and cheating NSW politicians.
His first test came last week when the chief government whip, Andrew Cornwell, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption he had taken $10,000 from a property developer – a banned donor – and used it to pay his personal tax bill.
He also made the breathtaking admission he accepted $10,000 in an envelope from another developer in the front seat of the businessman's Bentley, money that was subsequently used in his Charlestown campaign.
The Premier's response? He refused to comment for several days.
The second test came on Tuesday after his former backbencher Tim Owen confessed to lying to ICAC about another $10,000 from a property developer.
But instead of demanding their resignation from Parliament, he simply called for the two MPs to "consider their positions".
It was a major miscalculation that betrayed a significant misreading of the level of anger in the community.
Making matters worse, Baird labelled as a "stunt" a motion planned by Greens MP Jamie Parker to expel Cornwell from Parliament and steadfastly refused to consider backing it.
But expelling from Parliament an MP who had admitted to such appalling behaviour was precisely what the community expected.
There was a pattern emerging. It began when Baird expressed his determination to address the "corrosive" influence of political donations a couple of months ago, then shunted off funding reforms beyond next year's election.
This time, Baird made a lot of noise about how appalled he was by the actions of Owen and Cornwell.
But once again the rhetoric failed to match his actions.